North Allegheny’s Miller sisters make college commitments

Thursday, July 11, 2019 | 7:45 PM

Paige and Abby Miller had visions of what they were looking for in a college.

They believe they found the right fit with their recent commitments to Division I volleyball programs.

The North Allegheny sisters will be 816 miles apart, but each found what they were seeking.

Abby, a rising senior, chose Cleveland State because the school had a music therapy major. Paige, a rising junior, found a good fit with William & Mary (Va.).

North Allegheny coach Heidi Miller, the player’s mother, said seeing them play at college together would have been nice, but she was happy her daughters found the right fit.

“They are really good friends, and they enjoy playing together,” coach Miller said. “At times, their dad and I have asked them if they want to play together in college, but it was us being selfish because it would be easy to play if they were together. They both want to make their own way.”

Abby, the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year last season, will play setter in college. Learning different skills is something Abby has practiced off the court as well. Wanting to work in music therapy, she plays piano, guitar and ukulele and has toyed with a few other instruments.

“Not a lot of schools have music therapy,” Abby said. “I want to work with music and help people. I didn’t want to teach and do things in that area. Music therapy seems good for me.”

Abby waited nearly a year before hearing back from the Vikings staff.

“For my position, I’m short,” Abby said. “I was looking a few different schools and had emailed Cleveland State last year. Last December or January, they responded to my email for the first time. I never thought I wanted a city school, but when I went to visit, they offered me, and I accepted.”

Being part of a program trying to find its way was something which appealed to Paige. William & Mary finished 5-20 last season, including a 1-15 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Tribe lost 12 in a row to end the season and were 0-10 on the road.

In the past two seasons, North Allegheny has captured two PIAA Class AAA championships and won 47 matches in a row.

“I think that is part of why I like it and why the coaches like me,” Paige said. “I’m accustomed to winning. No matter what team we play, I think we are going to win. They have done better than in their previous seasons. They are rebuilding their team and call it their sisterhood. They are beginning the process of building it back up to what it was before. Every person they are looking for they want a winning mentality.”

Paige is facing a possible position change. An outsider hitter in high school, she has been looking at transition to a libero/defensive specialist role.

A lingering shoulder injury forced her to play in the back row during the summer season.

Paige found a change of scenery wasn’t a deal breaker.

“If you asked me last season if I would ever give up hitting, I would say heck no,” Paige said. “I learned to love it. There’s something about getting a good dig that feels as good as hitting the ball.”


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