There comes a time in every good athlete’s career when they truly step up.
That game, or moment in a game, where a young person makes a critical shot, comes up with a big defensive play, or in the case of the Colleyville Heritage volleyball team’s outside hitter Paige Dalri, comes off the bench and helps spark her team to victory with 13 kills off the bench to hold off a potential upset by Grapevine in late September.
Coach Bri Barker-Groth said that the the things that impress her most about Dalri is her attitude and perseverance.
“Paige had always brought a fun energy to the team,” Barker-Groth said. “She is a dependable teammate and someone who always puts the team before herself. Even though she didn’t get a lot of playing time early in the season, she kept working hard.
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“When the time came for Paige to step in to a starting role in the biggest game of the season, she did so with a fire that really turned the tables for us. She was our MVP that match and for good reason. She single handedly changed the outcome of the game by her presence on the court.”
The Grapevine game was a defining moment in Dalri’s young career, and she said she was determined to to her part to help the Lady Panthers get the victory.
“The game against Grapevine is the best game I have ever played,” Dalri said. “I came in as a sub off the bench when we were down 19 -24 in the second set. We ended up losing that set 23-25. The next three sets I came out with a lot of motivation and energy with the determination to win the game.
“When I’m on the bench, I pay attention to the other team’s defense so that when I go in, I know where their weakness is. I wasn’t going to walk away without the win that night.”
Dalri said that she sees believes her role can change, depending on whether she is on the court or on the bench, and said she has definite objectives depending on where she is.
“Each time I step onto the court, whether it is a practice or a game I try and bring a ton of energy to the game,” Dalri said. “If I’m on the bench, I make sure that we are staying focused and that we are excited for every point.”
Dalri is part of Redefining Beautiful, and organization that asks students not to wear make up and wear their hair naturally one day out of the week.
The Colleyville Heritage junior said her goal for the season is to make it as far in playoffs as possible. “We have a really good chance of winning state if we keep up with what we are doing right now,” Dalri said.