It’s never been surprising to see Masuk volleyball star setter Ana Castro-Rodriguez working with younger players during practice.
In fact, coach Carol Ortiz says it’s a common occurrence.
“If I allowed her to pick teammates for a game, she would always surround herself with freshmen,” Ortiz said. “And of course, she made them better.”
Castro-Rodriguez’s combination of skill and leadership helped both her and the Panthers excel in her three seasons as a starter, and also led to the senior being chosen as a winner of the Val Dickinson Memorial Volleyball Award this year.
The award, a scholarship presented by the Connecticut Federation of Volleyball Officials, honors the memory of Val Dickinson, a CFVO referee and assigner who lost her battle against cancer in 2008. Dickinson was a high school and college player who was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Hall of Fame posthumously in 2009, and the award which bears her name was created in 2010.
For the award, the CFVO seeks players who have “exemplary volleyball skills, exhibit leadership, teamwork, coachability, and a love of the game,” and “consistently demonstrate courtesy, respect and good sportsmanship on and off the volleyball court.”
Castro-Rodriguez, a two-year captain for the Panthers, said she was honored to have been recognized by the CFVO.
“While I never had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Dickinson, it is clear she was an honorable woman who cared deeply for her family and for the sport of volleyball,” Castro-Rodriguez said. “Receiving this award among what I am sure was a pool of incredibly qualified candidates in her memory is a humbling achievement.”
As a setter, Castro-Rodriguez has…
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