Micaela Donatio never planned to play volleyball after this fall. But everything went her way this fall and she has had a change of plans.
First, she was named a co-captain with Kaylee Lambrinos. Then, in her first year as a starter, she helped North Andover to an 18-6 season and a berth in the Division 1 North title game.
That equalled the Knights’ school record for wins and it equalled the furthest they’ve gone in the postseason in their 15-year history.
It gets better. Donatio was named All-MVC and set school single-season records for kills and blocks.
Donatio talked about the season, her love of Gronk and her unusual dream job in this week’s Around the Horn.
What can you say about your season? “I could not be more proud of the team. We made it the furthest the program has ever gone.”
Was it flattering being elected co-captain? “Yes, especially because I didn’t play a lot junior year. We had two senior middles I had to compete with. I thought that would affect people’s decisions. I think people realized I’d bring something to the table this year. It felt good.”
Was there any doubt in your mind you could do the job? “Definitely going in. I always struggle with confidence. Especially since I didn’t play a lot (previously). I knew I had big shoes to fill at the net. I was really nervous. We all worked hard in the offseason. Gradually I became comfortable. I just grew as a player.”
What’s your favorite personal athletic achievement? “It would have to be this year. I couldn’t have asked for 13 better girls to share the season with.”
Would you like to play in college? “I thought this would be it going into the season. But I’m playing now for the Mass. Patriots in Quincy. I’m looking at schools now for volleyball: St. A’s, Trinity, Stonehill to name a few.”
You’re a good athlete and 6-feet tall. Was it tough giving up basketball after your freshman year? “At the time, there was just a lot on my plate. I was dancing fulltime and playing volleyball. In the end, I had to make a sacrifice. (Basketball) just wasn’t for me.”
What’s been the lowest point of your career? “The toughest was last year when I had to make the decision to quit dance. I’d been dancing since I was 3. It was my life. I was leaving my dance family. I was with Just Dance out of North Andover.”
Do you work? “I work at Taki’s Pizza in North Andover.”
What should I order? “Definitely the Buffalo chicken calzone.”
What’s something people don’t know about you? “I’m best friends with my brother, Matthew, a sophomore at North Andover who plays varsity football and JV basketball, and my sister, Jeanmarie, who is a junior at Fairfield. She was a cheerleader at North Andover.”
What’s your dream job? “Stay-at-home mom. A trophy wife!”
Who’s your dream date? “Rob Gronkowski.”
What is your pet peeve? “I really do hate liars.”
Do you have a nickname? “This year people started calling me Micky.”
Who do you follow on Twitter-Facebook? “One person I follow is Adriana Lima, a Victoria Secret fashion model.”
Do you have any pets? “Two dogs, a chocolate Lab Tanner and a yellow Lab Cooper.”
Have you ever met anybody famous? “Some dancers from the TV Show ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’”
What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “My play list dedicated to Justin Bieber. It is a whole album and then some.”
If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “I’d give back senior privileges.”
Group or singer: A local band from Wayland named Aer. My friend’s neighbor at the beach is best friends with them. They are like a Bob Marley spin-off.
Song: Finally Found You by Enrique Iglesias and Sammy Adams
Book: The Hunger Games
Actor-actress: Sandra Bullock
Movie: Dirty Dancing
TV show: Revenge
Athlete: Obviously Rob Gronkowski
Food: My mom’s (Cyndy Donatio) home made ravioli
Car: Black Range Rover
Course in school: Statistics with Caitlin Flanagan