Volleyball meets with assistant (now head) coach Danny Doherty during a timeout against Duquesne. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

Danny Doherty ushers in new era of Robert Morris volleyball

Danny Doherty has taken over at the helm for Robert Morris volleyball and gives his outlook on the new recruits and the upcoming season.

January 25, 2022

At the end of the 2021 season, Robert Morris said goodbye to some generational talent in the program as Nikolette Zanolli, Alyson Londot and Emma Granger, who will all graduate at the end of this academic year.

The team also has a new coach at the helm but it is a familiar face that has graced the sideline. On Dec. 31, Robert Morris named Danny Doherty the next head coach of the program after Dale Starr was relieved of his duties towards the end of the season.

After spending multiple seasons as an assistant under Starr, Doherty was eager to step into the new role.

“It is always exciting to try something new, I am really excited and really blessed to be given the opportunity by Chris King and the rest of the athletic department,” Doherty said. “It has been a crazy past couple of weeks, but I am having as much fun as I possibly can.”

Over the past week, Doherty and his staff added three new commitments to the roster for the 2022 season as Hillarie Adams, Kaitlyn Brown, and Macy McNamara announced their commitment last week.

Doherty expressed what they bring to the table as they begin their collegiate careers,

“We have a lot of positions and it adds depth and a lot of athleticism to what we already have,” Doherty said. “Anytime you get infusion, new bodies, new blood, and into the system it is always a good thing. All three of them are hyper-competitive and do a lot of great stuff. Kaitlyn [Brown] is super athletic, Hillarie [Adams] is unbelievably hardball and Macy [McNamara] digs a lot of areas, so all three of them are going to do some great things and we are excited to have them.”

With new faces coming into the program and veteran players graduating, Doherty discussed how it feels to usher in a new era of RMU volleyball.

“It’s going to be a different situation. You lose some generational talent but it is always good to start fresh and start with a good group,” he said. “We are going to be really young, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have great [capability] still within the program. There are a lot of bright spots that I still feel like we have a lot to uncover.”

Danny Doherty
Danny Doherty discusses plays with his team. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

As Robert Morris volleyball enters a new season with a new coach and a young squad, there are growing pains associated with having a younger team. Doherty explained the different speed bumps that his team will face with a younger group.

“We are going to be young, we are going to make mistakes,” Doherty said. “We are going to fail, we are going to do a lot of stuff that is uncharacteristic and we are just going to learn through it.”

Even though Doherty’s lineup will have experience bumps along the way, he feels that his team has the opportunity to develop quickly.

“We are going to have those moments where we feel our youth, but I feel that it is a good quick path for what we have for the future,” Doherty said. “I don’t think it is going to last very long.”

Doherty is excited about this new opportunity and is looking to take on the head coaching role one step at a time.

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