BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Volleyball is a big part of Leah Dooley’s life, teaching her many core values along the way. As a junior outside hitter, Dooley led the Governor Livingston Girls’ Volleyball team to its best season in the history of the program. Dooley led the team in kills with 192, as well as contributing 5.5 blocks, 46 digs, and 111 service points including 51 aces.
Dooley demonstrated leadership throughout the year leading the team into the quarterfinals of the Group 2 tournament, as well as the semifinal of the challenging Union County Tournament.
She was also named to the All Group 2 team for her dominant performances throughout the season. “The key to the playoff runs was always having fun and doing the best possible job while laughing and keeping a smile on their faces no matter the score,” Dooley said.
Dooley began playing six years ago when her best friends introduced her to the game in a more recreational setting. Then she started playing club volleyball, which was much more intense. She has been in communication with multiple colleges about playing at the next level.
One of her favorite memories from this past year is playing in the last two tournaments, in which the team placed in the top three.
Dooley firmly believes that the best part of the sport is “the ability to work as a team, rack up kills, and hearing the cheer squad in the bleachers every match”.
Excited to get back to work in order to get even deeper in the playoffs next year, her goal is to not only get better herself but help her teammates improve along the way.
Steven Hess, one of the volleyball coaches, said, “Dooley was a leader on and off the court and was a great example to the younger kids in the program” when discussing her work ethic.
Dooley’s biggest inspiration outside of sports is Oprah Winfrey. She believes that giving to others is the definition of true happiness and tries to resemble this in her craft as well. Giving her teammates the opportunity to succeed is one of her greatest feats, always giving of herself to lead her peers to success.
Outside of high school volleyball, Dooley enjoys many things such as hanging out with friends, playing with her club team, and listening to all sorts of music. Pre-game rituals for Dooley include listening to many types of music, with her favorites being pop and ‘70s.
She also loves to express herself, showing great emotion with her play on and off the court. The passion Dooley creates brings great energy and keeps team morale high. She imposes a threat on both sides of the court with her ability to enforce her will at the net earning numerous points for her team.
Dooley appreciates the people in the community who have come out to support the team. Her contributions and her ability to rally the team behind her, as well as lead the team both vocally and by example, led to the most memorable season in the team’s brief history. The Governor Livingston standout is excited to see what is ahead.