North Hills volleyball focuses on season’s achievements

Thursday, October 17, 2019 | 5:16 PM

A WPIAL Class AAAA playoff berth was not in the cards this year for the North Hills girls volleyball team. However, that does not mean the season was a disappointment for the Indians.

While second-year head coach Vicky Danko readily admits that nailing down a spot in the postseason was the ultimate objective this year, she also says her Indians achieved plenty.

North Hills’ battled in a tough section to a 3-8 mark and a solid 9-9 record in overall play. Recently, on Oct. 12, the group even flexed a little muscle in the Greensburg Salem Tournament—taking first place after toppling Class AAAA foe Hempfield in the finals.

All in all, Danko says her team this year, and especially her five graduating seniors, have only helped to build the program up.

“I know our goal, like any team, was to make the playoffs. That’s anyone’s goal,” Danko said. “For the returning players next year, that will be our motivation.

“Unfortunately for seniors, they won’t have that chance to come back. But I hope those seniors know that coming in and making this team 9-9 this year when the program was at 3-13 a couple of years ago, that’s a big improvement. That takes a lot of commitment and hard work. The program is stronger now because of what they put into it.”

Those five seniors—Megan Dominek, Kayla Haile, Julia Molinaro, Julia Arlia and Bri Lawry—all contributed significantly for the Indians this year.

Dominek and Haile were both named to the all-tournament team at Greensburg Salem, with Dominek claiming tournament MVP honors.

Both Molinaro and Arlia played crucial roles as setters for the Indians and were immensely valuable in terms of the leadership that they provided, according to Danko.

The North Hills coach also had high praise for Lawry, saying that her middle hitter was a catalyst that brought fire and energy to the floor each time she stepped on it.

“It was a beneficial year for us. We’re at the start of something here, and each year we’re just looking to get stronger and stronger as a program,” Danko said. “We want to build the program and grow the type of culture that we want — a winning culture. We succeeded in that this year.

“We’re in a tough section. We played tough matches. But all of our girls and our seniors put their all into it and we’re proud of that.”


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