McKenna Sciacca has dreamed of being a Lewis-Palmer volleyball player since she was 4 years old.
Sciacca, the youngest of three Lewis-Palmer alumnae, and the latest Sciacca to come through the volleyball program, idolized the Rangers from a young age.
And she made certain that when it was her turn on the court in orange and black, she was going to make a difference.
Three state championships later, Sciacca has earned the title of Gazette Preps 5A/4A Volleyball Peak Performer of the Year.
“Lewis-Palmer volleyball has just been my life since I was a kid watching my sisters play,” Sciacca said. “When my sisters got out of high school, Giana Bartolo and I were ball girls for the longest time. I always wanted to be exactly like (the L-P volleyball girls), and I always wanted to win a state championship — and getting to win three was such a blessing.”
Sciacca, a setter, quarterbacked the state’s most prolific offense the last three seasons as the Rangers kept opposing defenses off balance with a host of hitters for Sciacca to work with.
“The thing about the teams that have won the last three state championships is we haven’t had that one dominant hitter,” Lewis-Palmer coach Wade Baxter said. “We have had to spread the ball around, and we have to have a setter who can set anybody at any time."
Baxter continued, “And that’s what McKenna is so good at. If you watch carefully, the one-on-ones, the opposition's middle is fooled, our hitters have clean shots — that’s all because of McKenna.”
Sciacca finished her varsity career with 2,694 assists — crushing the Lewis-Palmer record by about 500 assists, according to Baxter. She also had 167 kills, including 41 her senior year, and 152 career aces.
“I was a DS and a right side until I hit 13, that’s when I started setting because I had the ability to play with my left hand,” Sciacca said. “Personally I think setting is the hardest position, not that I’ve played every position, but just because you are the quarterback of the team, you touch every ball every time and perfect is something you have to be if you were a setter.”
Perfection is not only her personal goal, but is ingrained into the L-P volleyball culture, according to Sciacca.
Through her career Sciacca has touched the ball 6,016 times with only 160 errors. She also had 712 career digs, including a career-high 242 in her senior season.
She also led the Rangers with 64 aces in 2018, despite stating that her serve is not the most confident area of her game.
She went through trials to try to adjust and perfect her serve, and ultimately found the right combination to keep opposing team’s serve-receive off balance.
“When she was a freshman she played for me on JV and her serve was one of her biggest weaknesses, and now it’s one of the biggest strengths of the team,” Baxter said.
Baxter said it will be difficult to replace Sciacca’s presence on the court because her impact the last three seasons has been "immeasurable."
“I have definitely accomplished everything I wanted to at L-P, probably even more,” Sciacca said. “The last three seasons were just amazing and I don’t have a bad memory from any of them.”