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Dix helps Lady Rams keep up high level of play

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:02 p.m.
Pine Creek Journal
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal Pine-Richland senior Abby Dix has been a big reason for the great start for the Lady Rams volleyball squad this season.
Pine Creek Journal
File Photo Louis Raggiunti|Pine Creek Journal Last season Abby Dix, center, was a key contributor to the success of the team. This season, Dix is one of four returning starters whp will help a new head coach keep the Lady Rams in the mix for a championship.

When a player is a team leader, a wealth of experience goes a long way, especially when it is accompanied with great skill.

For Pine-Richland senior middle hitter Abby Dix, her experiences saw her win a WPIAL championship as a sophomore, then get back to the title game and take a silver as a junior. She has seen what it was like to get close and also to win it all. Among those experiences are several big games, thrilling wins and heart-breaking losses.

“I am definitely proud of the successes,” Dix said. “We got far in the state tournament both times, and that experience is the best thing I bring to the team.”

Dix started with some youth clinics as a child then moved up to the seventh grade team at Pine-Richland.

She enjoyed the game so much from those experiences, she could not help but stick with it. She played outside hitter at first and then moved to the middle where she has found a good home she has grown to love.

Her experience shined through this season in a five-set win against rival North Allegheny. It was during that grueling match everyone played together and the team hung tough for the win.

It was a little tip here or some encouragement there, but Dix helped the team pull through.

“Abby is a great kid and she deserves 100 percent of what she gets,” said Pine-Richland coach Amanda Fetter said. “She is phenomenal as a leader and has accepted the position well.”

Fetter has served as an assistant coach for the Lady Rams since Dix was a freshman, so when she took over as coach this season, Dix said the transition was an easy one.

“I have a lot of experience with her (as a coach),” Dix said. “Her perspective is helpful and she sees things in a different light. That is always helpful.”

Pine-Richland lost a huge chunk of the team that reached back-to-back WPIAL championship games, so the role Dix and the rest of the seniors had to take on was a big one.

“It's great,” she said. “We have been waiting for this year since we were freshmen … it is a lot of fun — being a senior is a great role. The younger players have stepped up and taken on the roles of the seniors from last year.”

The complete team effort is an aspect that impressed Dix about this season's team. She said that to get back to the WPIAL finals once again, togetherness and team chemistry has to continue.

Dix said she would like to continue to play volleyball after high school, but she is going to wait and see what doors open up after the season.

She has been in contact with some colleges, but the plan right now is to play out this season.

The hardest part of moving on will be missing the home games with the fans and friends who came to support the team.

When the high school season concludes, Dix will return to her club team to practice and take part in some competitive tournaments.

“Abby takes are of everything I ask her to,” Fetter said. “She is a great player, a wonderful young lady. She has been around success and she follows suit.”

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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