TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

North Allegheny volleyball standout commits to Notre Dame

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Once Meg Morningstar put in her due diligence, it didn't take her too long to make her decision.

Late last month, Morningstar made a verbal commitment to accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Notre Dame. The 6-foot-2 middle hitter and daughter of former Pitt center and NBA player Darren Morningstar accepted the offer prior to her junior year of high school.

“The best compliment I can give to Meg is she probably had the most perfect recruiting experience you can possibly have,” North Allegheny coach Heidi Miller said. “She's a good player and a multisport athlete, and she's young — but she did everything she needed to do to put herself in a great position recruiting-wise.

“Meg had a good support group around her in her coaches and her family, and she was great at narrowing down her schools of interest. She went on visits, camps, the whole package. The whole thing worked out for her, and we couldn't be more pleased with how it turned out.”

Morningstar was named to the all-WPIAL second team in her first season as a starter as a sophomore. She helped North Allegheny win the Section 3-AAA title and qualify for the PIAA playoffs.

Morningstar, who intends on pursuing a business-related major, had a 4.3 GPA over the past academic year. She chose Notre Dame over several other schools, most notably Pitt, North Carolina and Northwestern.

“I just fell in love with the campus and the program and all of it,” Morningstar said. “And of course, the academics are so good there.

“I went to the North Carolina camp, and they told me I was at the top of their list and then at Northwestern they told me similar things. But I knew I really wanted to go to Notre Dame. I called them from the airport coming home from Northwestern, and they ended up offering me. It was surreal — I was so excited to go.”

In her younger years, Morningstar concentrated on basketball, not discovering volleyball until middle school. By eighth grade, Morningstar came to the realization she was both becoming burned out from basketball and likely had a better future in volleyball.

Plus, “I fell in love with it,” she said.

Morningstar will continue to play basketball in high school. As a sophomore, she was already a significant contributor to a section champion team.

“There's no doubt in my mind she could have been a college basketball player,” Miller said. “But her body type lends itself better to volleyball. And she enjoys it.”

Miller is convinced that Morningstar has yet to scratch the surface of how far her game can evolve. Miller said Morningstar's long, lean build combines with intelligence and instincts to form a player who is proficient both on the attack and in blocking.

Relatively late to the sport, Morningstar is still improving exponentially.

“Last year, we teased her that she was a baby giraffe,” Miller said. “I would say now she's more like a teenage giraffe maybe. She looks like a different kid — just so much stronger.”

Morningstar knows she needs to continue to improve before she begins the rigors of playing in the ACC. She said she became so diligent in making an early college decision because she began to realize that many of her peers at the high-level camps were already committing. Pitt offered her when she was a freshman.

“A lot of good players don't end up going to schools they could because they are not as proactive in recruiting,” said Morningstar, who emailed and called dozens of coaches of schools she had interest in.

Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates trade for Mariners LHP Happ, Dodgers 1B/OF Morse
  2. Steelers notebook: Officials discuss new game ball procedures
  3. Hurdle: Soria likely to assume setup role with Watson
  4. Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list
  5. Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending
  6. Gameday: Pirates at Cincinnati, Aug. 1, 2015
  7. Allegheny County DA’s office: Photo of staffer with gun evidence violates protocol
  8. Police: Lincoln-Lemington burglary suspect shoots self during foot chase with police
  9. MLB notebook: Mets boost lineup, acquire Cespedes from Tigers
  10. West Kittanning church marks 100 years of ups and downs
  11. Heyl: Longtime disc jockey Jimmy Roach to turn dismissal into brighter times