Oakland Catholic’s Taylor Cigna commits to Colgate volleyball

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Thursday, November 14, 2019 | 5:20 PM


Taylor Cigna didn’t expect to hear everything she wanted when she visited Colgate.

The 5-foot-9 Oakland Catholic senior didn’t want the coaches there to tell her how great she was.

Cigna, a Shaler Township resident, wanted a school and athletic program which would challenge her. When Colgate’s volleyball coaches were up for the challenge, Cigna decided she had found the right school.

“The coaches were honest,” Cigna said. “They said they liked what they saw and told me what stuff I needed to work on. They didn’t sugarcoat anything. The recruiting world can be tough. I like to consider myself mentally tough. I think I’m going to get pushed to work harder.”

Colgate competes in the Patriot League at the Division I level. This season, the Raiders are off to a 13-1 start in league play and are 20-6 overall.

Cigna, who plays libero, helped lead the Eagles to the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals, where Oakland Catholic lost to Pine-Richland in five sets.

“It was bittersweet,” said Cigna on being knocked out of the playoffs. “I’m so excited for next year and the ability to start over and play for four more years. I’m going to miss the team, playing with the other seniors and the school environment.”

Adapting has been a hallmark of Cigna’s career.

After starting as a middle blocker and moving to outside hitter, Cigna settled as a libero once she reached high school. Playing a lot of different positions has helped Cigna become a more well-rounded player.

“It’s more of a selfless role,” said Jen Flynn Oldenberg, who is the club director at Pittsburgh Elite volleyball. “When you are on defense, it’s more of being a team player and not getting the glory. It’s hard for some hitters to give that up. She excelled in that role. It’s a fit for her and her personality.”

Attending Colgate was another match for Cigna.

There will be a number of challenges that await her. Coaches aren’t going to let her fail to get better on the court. The academic side of things likely won’t be much easier.

It’s exactly how Cigna prefers things.

“I’m going to put a huge focus on time management,” Cigna said. “I’ll be busy with volleyball and school. It’s going to take staying disciplined. I want to get it down early and continue to work hard every practice and every game.”

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