ST. PETERSBURG – Outside hitter Hailey Dolan started playing volleyball in the 7th grade. However, the St. Pete senior starter didn’t start taking it seriously until this past season when she says she knew that playing at the next level was her goal.
At 5’9″, Dolan has been a key factor for the Green Devils. She recorded 174 kills in her first three years, including 109 this past season as St. Pete finished 19-11 and made an an appearance in the Class 7A region quarterfinals. So far this season, Dolan has 92 in 16 games as the Green Devils are 13-3 under first-year head coach Todd Maxwell.
Talking specifically about her game, she says it has grown so much since her freshman year.
“I used to only be able to touch 8’9″ as of last year,” Dolan told Prep Sports Scouting. “Since I’ve started working with a trainer I touch over 9’7″ and it is only continuing to rise. My goal is to touch 10 feet or higher by the end of this year.”
Dolan has faith in her group who has posted 11 shutout wins this season.
“I believe St. Pete has so much potential to go far this year especially with the experience on the team and having seven returning seniors,” she said. “We all work well as a team not just individually.”
What’s the secret to the cohesiveness and impressive play from Dolan and the Green Devils?
“What really makes our team come together is our setter Jessica [Stroemich]. Her communication, consistent sets and smart plays make her a key player,” Dolan said. “Another key player is Jillian Kilgroe, our libero. She is by far the best libero I have worked with. Her ability to read the ball gets us the perfect passes we need especially during crucial points of the game.”
After five years, head coach Alexandra Sevillano left the program. She led the Green Devils to a 70-56 record and two region quarterfinal appearances. Dolan spent her first three seasons under her guidance and she says the whole team is getting used to coach Maxwell and adjusting well to his coaching style.
However, Dolan had nothing but kind things to say about her former coach.
“Coach Sevillano is the best coach I have ever had the experience of working with,” Dolan said. “She helped me improve so much all around and was always willing to take time out of her day to work with me.
“She always pushed me to my limits and in the moment I hated her for it, but she made me the player I’m today. I will always love her and be thankful for everything she has done. I miss her dearly.”
As for Dolan’s key role on the court, she pointed to the offensive part of the game.
“I try to see holes and open spots, play the ball smart and aggressive,” she said. “I think it takes a smart player to win games. I’m also a key defensive player. I can read the ball well and I communicate it to my teammates all the time.”
No offers have come for Dolan just yet, but she’s received interest from Webber International, Earlham, Millsaps, Caldwell, Arcadia, Arizona State and Loyola Marymount.
A former competitive cheerleader for Rock Solid All-Stars from age 6 to 15, she quit so she could focus solely on volleyball. Dolan says her family, fans and teammates give her endless support which helps her push that much harder.
Her favorite part of volleyball is playing in general.
“I absolutely love competition and winning,” Dolan said. “When I win a volleyball game, I know I have put my everything into something I love. I will only have a least favorite part about volleyball if my hard work doesn’t pay off.”
Dolan’s biggest role model is someone she really looks up to in her former coach, Alexandra Sevillano.
“She [Sevillano] works hard at everything she does, never doubts herself and her determination to never quit makes me want to be more like her,” Dolan said. “She is amazing to watch while playing and just thinking of how much she has accomplished pushes me to work hard, be a better player and overcome the odds like she did.
“She walked on at Florida State and she wasn’t the tallest girl either but she worked harder than everyone else and that is how she got there. I want to be like her one day.”
The influence that Sevillano brought to Dolan and her group is clear. Maxwell has come in and done a fine job thus far and St. Pete is back in the mix once again this season, but you can tell that Dolan feels grateful to have played for a coach like Sevillano.
Everyone brings different attributes to the sidelines. With St. Pete, they are a seasoned team and right now that is helping them run through their schedule. Having Dolan as the offensive centerpiece, it’s only going to get better from here.
As for her college hopes, I have a hunch that a program will give her a shot. Dolan’s simply too talented and too wise on the court to not get that opportunity.
Playlist before games – Drake (Hype, Controlla, Child’s Play)
Favorite movies – Clueless
Favorite TV shows – Friends, One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars
Fun fact about you that you think nobody knows – “I’m obsessed with working out.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Hails”
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.