Pope John Paul II’s vocal leader, Dorman named Mercury All-Area Player of the Year



Being the captain of a team that finishes the season undefeated in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and travels all the way to the state quarterfinals is more than enough for most athletes.

Then again, most athletes aren’t Nicole Dorman, a senior at Pope John Paul II, who was selected as the Mercury All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year for 2014.

Dorman, who was selected to the All-Area First Team as a junior last season with a team-high 189 kills, came into her role as captain this season. During the 2014 season, the senior posted team-highs with 231 kills and 56 aces as well as 125 digs and 24 blocks.

Dorman credits her success in high school volleyball to a strong work ethic and enjoyment of the hard work.

“I like practices where I sweat a lot and really can’t breathe after,’ she said. “I like to work hard and see it pay off in games. I think that’s what has taken me this far.’

As the captain of a heavily-favorited Pope John Paul II team, Dorman knew there were high expectations of her team from the very beginning of the season.

But despite all of the outside pressure, the senior knew she needed to keep her emotions in check and constantly lead her team by example.

“Everything I do as a leader and in a leadership position influences other people,’ she said. “It’s always important to keep your head and stay motivated. We tried to keep that mentality throughout the season.’

According to Pope John Paul II head coach Ryan Sell, Dorman was always the loudest and most energetic player on the floor, something that is crucial when it comes to being the leader of a team.

“Nicole did a great job of leading our team emotionally on the floor,’ he said. “You need players that play with a lot of energy, and she’s definitely one of them.’

Dorman helped PJP stay perfect in the PAC-10 boasting an 8-0 regular season record en route to finishing 17-1 overall.

After falling to Lansdale Catholic last season in the state semifinals, she admits their team’s one goal of the 2014 season was to make it even further than they had last go-around.

“Our team was really motivated and really determined this season,’ she said. “We wanted to win states, especially after being knocked out by LC last season.’

Dorman was magical at the District 1-AA Tournament totaling 26 kills, 14 digs and 13 aces in two matches as the No. 1 seeded Golden Panthers handily swept Gwynedd Mercy Academy and Villa Maria both 3-0 to win their third-straight district title.

Next stop: the PIAA Championships.

They opened up with a 3-0 sweep of Lansdale Catholic, gaining revenge on the Crusaders for last season’s quarterfinal.

But in the second round of states, Bethlehem Catholic had plans of its own.

Pope John Paul II won the first game, but despite 20 kills, five digs and three aces from Dorman the next three games went to the Golden Hawks — which went on to win the PIAA Class AA title a week later — and ended their state tournament run.

“I told the girls they should be proud of this season,’ said Sell. “We were one of eight teams still playing. A lot of teams would love to be where we were.’

Still, the team’s only loss couldn’t have come at a tougher time.

“I definitely felt as though we could have gotten further,’ she said. “It was disappointing, but I tried to remember how well we did all season. We were just proud to make it that far.’

Aside from all of the team’s success, Dorman, who plans to continue her volleyball career at Widener, admits that she most valued the experiences and the relationships gained while competing alongside her teammates at Pope John Paul II.

“Yes, we were successful,’ said Dorman. “But more importantly, we had a lot of fun with (coach) Ryan and all of the girls. I’m really thankful for my time with the team.’

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