Marian seniors 'lead' way
bob ford/times news Marian senior Grace Boyle passes the ball.
YORK - Marian volleyball coach John "Doc" Fallabel has had larger senior classes and he has had more talented senior classes.
But in one important area, the four seniors on the 2013 Fillies' roster are in a class by themselves leadership.
That's no small accomplishment considering the success of the Marian volleyball program in Fallabel's 11 years at the helm.
The Fillies' numbers during the Fallabel era are staggering.
* A 226-29 record
* Six District 11 crowns
* Five Schuylkill League titles
* Three PIAA state final appearances
* Two state championships
That means this year's senior quartet of Grace Boyle, Sophie Myers, Ashton Galasso and Madyson Dyer are being compared to some outstanding groups of former Fillie seniors and they have come out of those comparisons on top according to Fallabel.
Because of that, they also came out on top of every other Class A volleyball team in Pennsylvania.
Saturday, the Fillies put the finishing touches on a postseason trifecta, that also included league and district titles, by sweeping Cochranton to capture the state championship.
"They were exceptional leaders," Fallabel said about the four seniors. "That was the difference between us being a pretty good team and a state championship team."
Fallabel said that if you judge this senior class solely on physical ability, they might not match up with some of the powerhouse Marian teams from the past.
"Skill-wise they're OK. But leadership-wise, there has never been a better class," said Fallabel. "That's not a knock on their talent level. All four of the girls are good players.
"It's just that we've had some extremely talented players in this program who haven't won state championships. It takes more than just talent and this group of seniors deserves a lot of credit for helping develop that special 'it' this team has."
When asked about the keys to the championship season, none of the four seniors talked about digs, spikes or serves. Instead they talked about teamwork, trust, confidence and hard work.
That's what makes them special. That's the "it" Fallabel talked about.
"Everyone on the team does their job," said Boyle when asked about what made the 2013 Fillies so special. "We trust ourselves and we trust each other."
Myers focused on the teamwork aspect.
"The four seniors have played together since the sixth grade," she explained. "We're best friends. But it's just not the four of us. It's the entire team. We're like one big family.
"I think you can see that on the "I think you can see that on the court. Everyone works together so well. "
One thing that's obvious when watching Marian play is that Fallabel has huge confidence in his bench. Saturday, he used 12 players as part of his rotation
"There are so many people who contribute to our wins," Galasso said. "Nobody is worried about playing time. Everyone accepts her role.
"I think the reason for that is the hard work every member of the team puts in at practice. You know that no matter who coach puts on the court, they've earned their opportunity."
The Fillies also earned something that most high school athletes can only dream about.
"When we were freshmen, our class talked about winning a state championship before we graduated," said Dyer. "This year was our last chance. So to achieve that goal is a dream come true.
"I think the most special thing about this is that all the girls on the team are like sisters to me. It makes the feeling all the more amazing."
The Fillies' combination of talent and hard work allowed them to dream of accomplishing amazing things this season.
But it was their senior leadership that ultimately made those dreams come true.