Severna Park High School varsity volleyball coach Tim Dunbar has a saying: players need to work together as a team, as an amoeba.
Oftentimes the player holding the amoeba together is four-year starter Siena DeCicco.
“She is a hard worker and leads by example,” said Dunbar, who added that DeCicco is “extremely well-liked on the team.”
DeCicco enjoys being a role model and she draws her enthusiasm from her passion for the game. She started playing volleyball for Athletic Performance Inc. (API) in seventh grade.
“When I’m on the court, my position is mostly to help the girls where they need to go and how to conduct themselves on the court,” she said. “I call the plays and keep everything under control … when we’re under stressful situations.”
DeCicco feels like she thrives in the game’s biggest moments. The Falcons have had a few of those moments early on during their five-game 2021 regular season, with a 3-0 win over Southern on March 23 and a 3-1 victory over defending county champion Broadneck on March 30.
“My goal is to play for every point,” she said. “I pour my heart into it and play in the moment. You can’t keep looking back at mistakes.”
She feels at home playing for the Falcons and coach Dunbar.
“He always has our best interests in mind and wants us to play as a competitive team,” she said.
Off the court, DeCicco pursues other hobbies with the same dedication that she commits to volleyball. She is active in Severna Park High School’s National Honor Society and math society. She is a nanny to a Severna Park Middle School student and a Severna Park Elementary student.
“I really like helping them with their classes online, and during breaks, taking them outside to play soccer,” DeCicco said.
She will take her competitiveness to the court and classrooms at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, next year. There, she will study nursing, play volleyball and be a member of the Pell Honors Program, which challenges students to develop their analytical and communication skills by entering into respectful but critical debates on topics such as politics, international affairs, human nature, ethics, religion, and society and culture.
Until then, DeCicco is trying to make the most of her final volleyball season while following Dunbar’s philosophy.
“Coach Dunbar wants all six of us on the court to move together as one,” she said. “When one of us is running for a ball, then the whole team should shift and follow as support. He wants us to play as one and move together smoothly like an amoeba.”
In partnership with The Matt Wyble Team of Century 21, the Voice’s Student-Athlete of the Month series recognizes the many student-athletes in our area who make an impact not necessarily by way of statistics or stardom, but by their unique contributions. Contact Zach Sparks at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate a young person in our community making a positive impact through sports.