Rivalry Game Breeds Standout Athlete in Reilly Neville


Pascack Hills Girls Volleyball is certainly a force to be reckoned with. In the hallways it’s hard not to notice their matching outfits and game day spirit, but it is what makes them a team. As for on the court their 8-1 record speaks for itself. With a team this strong it is understandably hard for Coach McDonald to single out one stellar player; however, for the week of September 31st, she named senior Reilly Neville as volleyball’s athlete of the week.

As the team’s outside hitter Neville really does do it all. While most volleyball players specialize in hitting and blocking in the front row or playing defense in the back row, Neville does both and therefore rarely sees time on the bench. But although her job within in each game is constantly changing, her performance in those games, specifically that against Wood-Ridge, Dwight Morrow, Fort Lee and Northern Highlands, is consistently impressive.

For the week Neville racked up 27 kills (a forceful shot that cannot be returned): 11 of them during a rivalry game against Northern Highlands, and 1 from the back row to open up the first set. On top of that she closed out the match with an ace (a serve an opponent is unable to touch). “This was a breakthrough week for her,” Coach McDonald said, “and hopefully a turning point for the rest of her season.”

When told about her coach’s decision for standout athlete Neville said, “It feels really good!” She added, “Lately I’ve been very focused both mentally and physically and it’s great to see it paying off.” As a senior Neville realizes it’s her last chance to play in a Pascack Hills uniform and is therefore, “trying to give it [her] all 100% of the time.” A trait her coach expects from each one of her players.

Enthusiastic, passionate and disciplined is how Coach McDonald wants her players each time they step on the court. Whether it’s in practice or a game, Neville personally tries to always meet those expectations. “I’m very enthusiastic and passionate because I love the sport and honestly have so much fun playing it,” she said, “but I’m also very disciplined because I’m a competitor and love to win.” These, along with “very good technical skills, fantastic defense, self-motivation and a love for the sport” are why coach McDonald trusts Neville so much. “We put a lot of trust in her,” McDonald said, “and this week she showed us that we can.”

Big picture, Coach McDonald hopes to be in the top 8 in the county tournament, to make it to the sectional finals for the state tournament and to beat River Dell. Neville shares and even surpasses these goals with her eyes on a state championship. “Personally,” she said, “my goal is to have a great last season and make the most out of every second I’m on the court.”