For the fifth signing day ceremony during the 2016-2017 in San Pedro Prep Sports, welcome Mary Star High into the fold as senior girls volleyball outside hitter Ally Spillane would sign her national letter of intent to play collegiate volleyball at Eastern University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Spillane is just the second in school history to host an on-campus signing day ceremony, joining current George Mason sophomore softball pitcher Marina Vitalich, and ONLY the third to host a signing day ceremony in six years, along with Jordyn Alves, who started at UC Santa Barbara in women's soccer and is currently on the rowing team at Southern California (USC).
"When I visited Eastern everyone made me feel so welcome, especially the coach and all the girls on the team," Spillane recalls of her visit to Philadelphia. "I really got to experience what Eastern has to offer in the short time I was there. The campus was beautiful and full of history and Philadelphia is a wonderful city that I am lucky to call home for the next four years."
Spillane had other offers, including three Division III offers and a full ride to Division II Wilmington University in Delaware before eventually choosing Eastern University.
In her four years at Mary Star, Spillane was simply spectacular, leading the Stars in kills all four years, making all-league first team every year, and in her last three seasons, helped guide Mary Star to three consecutive Santa Fe League championships, garnering her first Most Valuable Player honor her senior year, an All-CIF Southern Section selection in 2016, and three San Pedro News Pilot Prep Girls Volleyball Player Of The Year honors as well.
The rest of San Pedro, California would also see how special Spillane was, as she helped Mary Star go 4-0 combined against fellow neighbors San Pedro and Port Of Los Angeles, highlighted by the Stars' four-set victory over the Pirates back on October 5, 2016 in one of the largest attended sporting events in the Mary Star gymnasium.
"I will miss seeing familiar faces like my best friends, teammates, coaches, and the teachers," Spillane said. "Mary Star is a supportive community and safe environment, so I know it will be a challenge to adjust. I'm ready to move on but I will always be a Star."
The majority of her teammates and head coach Tyler Jaynes were all there during the assembly where Spillane also got the school's Nick Uruburu Memorial Award.
"I was extremely excited and honored to be able to celebrate this achievement with my classmates whom I call my extended family," Spillane said of the support of her team, many of whom she played with for three or all four years. "Everyone was so happy for me and I cannot thank everyone enough for their continuous support."
Spillane joins San Pedro football defensive tackle Nick Ford (Utah), San Pedro girls soccer midfielder Maddie Villela (Marymount California), POLA girls soccer forward Anna Vidovich (Stevens Institute Of Technology) and POLA softball pitcher Analise De La Roca (New Mexico State) among the list of senior student athletes who signed a NLI in 2016-2017.
(Note: Photo courtesy of Betty Spillane)