Westmoreland County Senior Spotlight: Derry’s Cam McNichol

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Monday, May 13, 2024 | 1:52 PM


Last year, Derry’s boys volleyball team went 3-7 in Section 2-2A.

This season, the Trojans found themselves in the thick of a playoff race, having won five games before the final stretch.

Senior Cam McNichol, who has transitioned between outside hitter and setter over his two years with the Trojans, highlighted what’s needed to properly finish off a playoff push.

“Some keys to success are just working well together as a team, keeping a lot of balls off the floor and just communicating well together,” McNichol said.

Playing outside hitter and setter has provided some position flexibility for McNichol, which is always helpful, no matter the sport.

“The flexibility is being able to always be on the outside but also having second hands to better the ball to our other hitters,” McNichol said.

Derry’s program has been in the hands of longtime coaches Rich Schall (31 years) and Shawn Spencer (20 years).

McNichol, who hasn’t had quite that much experience (two years) with the program, has seen a lot out of this specific group.

“There has been a lot of progress and growth throughout each kid, and they are all coming together really well,” McNichol said.

With that seniority also comes production, as McNichol is often at the top of the stat sheet in kills.

He shared some of the things that drive his accomplishments.

“Practicing how you play is really important for success. AAU travel is a huge help, too, with always being on the court and getting further experience,” McNichol said.

McNichol is still undecided in his plans for after high school, but he would like to do something in the medical field, while leaving his volleyball options open.

With the end of the season nearing, McNichol took some time for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

How did you get started with volleyball?

I started with volleyball by my friend asking me to go to an open gym with him before the season started my sophomore year.

What has that transition between outside hitter and setter looked like for you?

In our travel season at the end of my sophomore year, (Spencer) wanted to try me at setter, and it has just gone from there. The transition was difficult, learning a new position in addition to the position I was already at. The constant switch is just to have Noah and I swinging in the front at all times.

What can you say about your coach, Shawn Spencer, and what he brings to the table?

He is really straightforward, and that really helps you grow as a player. With all his experience he has had playing and coaching has been really helpful to us with growing better individually and as a team. With Coach Schall and his success from when he coached has been a huge help to us.

What’s your favorite high school volleyball memory?

Sweeping Latrobe after losing to them in five.

What is one thing that people may not know about you?

I’m unreal on Fortnite and a top champ on (Rainbow Six Siege).

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