She had more digs than an archaeologist, and more kills than a health reform bill proposal.
Marian's Devin Parambo has the rare ability to play the front row and the back row at an extremely high level. The Fillies' full rotation player also has the unique capability to stand out individually while playing fully within the team concept.
And to top it all off, Parambo's attitude exceeds her ability.
On the volleyball court, she offers more encouragement than a whole aisle of Hallmark cards, which all adds up to Parambo being named the 2009 TIMES NEWS Volleyball Player of the Year.
"Devin is a great player and a great leader," stated Marian head coach John "Doc" Fallabel. "Right from eighth grade, you could just see that she was going to be a special player. She not only had the physical skills, but she had the desire and the love for the game. No one could be more deserving of this award than Devin."
Parambo's recognition marks the sixteenth straight year (dating back to 1994) that a Marian player has captured the Player of the Year award, and while Devin is the latest to place her name in such an elite fraternity of athletes, she certainly won't be the last.
"Marian really prides itself on its rich volleyball tradition and it's a tremendous honor to be chosen for this award," stated Parambo. "There have been a lot of phenomenal players that came before me and it's a privilege to have my name included among them."
Standing at only 5-feet, 4-inches tall, Parambo isn't the most powerful or physically intimidating hitter there is, yet her intangibles have placed her among the finest volleyball players to ever wear a Marian uniform.
As a three-year starter at outside hitter for the Fillies, Parambo has seemingly done it all. In her senior season alone, she was named to the Schuylkill League Division IV First Team and the District 11 Class A First Team, while also being placed on the PIAA Class A All-State Team, which recognizes the top 40 players in the entire state of Pennsylvania ("The Fabulous 40"). In addition, she was selected to the PVCA (Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association) All-Star Game and was the school recipient of the Wendy's High School Heisman Award for academics, athletics and citizenship.
"Devin's a good solid hitter but the part of her game that really stands out is her defensive abilities," added Fallabel. "This is a very difficult statement for me to make, but defensively, she's probably the best player to have ever played at Marian."
During her senior season, she accumulated 365 digs and leaves Marian with a school record 1,036 digs for her career. She is the first Fillie to surpass 1,000 digs and has 237 more than Joan Porambo (799).
"Defensively, she's just fast and has quick reaction time," said Fallabel. "Devin has the ability to get the ball anywhere on the court. She can receive the ball off the floor at its lowest point and she can pancake (diving and getting her hand underneath the ball) consistently."
"The most impressive thing is that she did all this by playing middle-back on defense, which is not your primary defensive position," added Fallabel. "Most balls go to left-back and if Devin would have been a libero (a defensive specialist), she probably could have had 2,000 digs easy."
Aside from her defensive prowess, she finished her Marian career with 520 kills (eighth all-time) and finished in the top 10 in serving with 205 aces.
"Devin only made the state playoffs once and that was in her freshman year when she hardly played," noted Fallabel. "The girls ahead of her played much longer seasons, so to her credit, she accumulated all those stats in what probably amounts to about 30 less games over her final three years."
For as skilled as Parambo is on the volleyball court, she excels just as much in classroom, ranking in the Top 10 in her graduating class. She's a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society and plans to attend college (either at Penn State or a smaller local college) and major in Kinesiology.
"Individually, I did everything I wanted to accomplish in my high school career, except for leading the team to a district championship," stated Parambo. "It broke my heart that we weren't able to beat Nativity and make it further in the playoffs."
"Taking off my Marian jersey for the last time was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. However, when I look back on it all, I was fortunate enough to have played on some great teams with some great players."
Parambo was also thankful for a strong support network that included her coaches, family and friends, all of whom played integral roles in her development as a player and person.
Perhaps giving back the jersey wasn't so bad after all, as she realized what she gets to keep....
"I have a lot of memories," concluded Parambo. "Memories that will last a lifetime."