EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

November 19, 2012

McNally dazzles on and off court for Pinke

Pinkerton All-Stater acing classes, rewriting record books

Todd Royce knew Brenna McNally would be a special talent early in her freshman year.

“We had a game at Salem, Brenna’s first time in that type of atmosphere,” recalled the Pinkerton volleyball coach. “It was a back-and-forth game the whole way. We finally got a match point and the set ends up going to Brenna. She handled it like she had been in those situations for years and put the final ball away.

“That game showed a lot about Brenna and it was a glimpse of how special this young lady would be.”

Special enough that she should be a lock to earn Eagle-Tribune All-Star honors for the third straight year, a feat only accomplished eight times in the last 25 years.

The 5-7 outside hitter from Derry also set school career records in kills (792), digs (1,212) and aces (301). The ace mark is believed to be a state record as well.

She, too, fondly recalls that 2009 Salem showdown.

“That was a big game,” said McNally. “Salem is always very good. It was really exciting. It was just the heat of the moment. I wanted the ball to come to me. I had the mindset I’d win that point.”

It was even more special because Salem was coached by her club team coach Dan Young and her mother, Cindy McNally, had started up the Salem program and coached the Blue Devils for several years.

McNally invariably rises to the occasion on the volleyball court, the tennis court (she’s an Eagle-Tribune All-Star doubles player) and in the classroom.

The Female Moynihan Scholar-Athlete for October is ranked 20th in a class of a little over 700 students. She scored a 1,930 on her SATs and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Of her success as a scholar-athlete, McNally said, “It definitely takes a lot of hard work. It’s all part of the high school experience. I like both sides of it. There definitely have been some late nights and some early mornings to get up to finish the work. It’s worth it.”

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