Mikaela Nocetti enjoys two particular passions.
The El Camino High School senior is in her element in front of the net on a volleyball court, blocking shots or hammering a powerhouse kill as an outside hitter. Nocetti’s versatility, skills and tenacity made her The Bee’s Volleyball Player of the Year as she guided the region’s top-ranked team in 2014.
And Nocetti is all kid – skipping and singing – when she visits her favorite amusement park: Disneyland.
“I’ve gone to Disneyland at least 50 times, and it never gets old,” Nocetti said, beaming. “I’m such a huge fan. It was my dream growing up to be part of Disneyland. I’d love to design rides. I even imagined being a street sweeper, just to be there, to enjoy the atmosphere.”
Nocetti savored a winning atmosphere at El Camino matches this season. The Eagles went 48-4 and were unbeaten in Capital Athletic League play. They won their third Sac-Joaquin Section championship in four seasons with the 5-foot-11 Nocetti as a starter and reached the CIF Northern California Division III semifinals, falling in five sets to eventual state champion Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.
Headed to the University of Portland, Nocetti often used a Disneyland getaway to help distance herself from the year-round rigors of volleyball.
“Volleyball is a lot of fun, but it can be stressful,” Nocetti said. “After a break, I really regain my love for volleyball. I come back ready to play.”
Nocetti has Disneyland in her sites this spring or summer, and she just got back from a weekend getaway to Walt Disney World in Florida. Nocetti will compete in the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships from June 23 to July 2 in New Orleans, and then she is off to Portland, where she will study biology.
Big moments in volleyball only served to inspire Nocetti. El Camino coach Martin Soyama recalled the first time he called Nocetti into action as a freshman.
“She’s always been more mature than her age in volleyball,” the coach said. “We were playing St. Francis when she was in her first year with us. She wasn’t in the match until the fourth set, and we’re two points from winning and I sub her in to serve. She serves two aces. Just like that.
“To see her grow over four years into the player she’s become has been a pleasure. There’s nothing not to like about her game or personality. She has a way of motivating teammates, and she can give direction as a captain. She’s enjoyed the moment, knowing it’s not always about winning. She’s just a kid out there having fun.”
Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
▪ Mikaela Nocetti, El Camino, Sr.
Coach of the Year
▪ Dave Muscarella, Rocklin
▪ Nastassja Bowman, Christian Brothers, Sr.
▪ Elizabeth Dahlberg, El Camino, Sr.
▪ Sumeet Gill, Pleasant Grove, Sr.
▪ Kylie Green, St. Francis, Sr.
▪ Maddie Haynes, Rocklin, Jr.
▪ Devin Herenda, El Camino, Sr.
▪ Kate Nicknig, El Camino, Sr.
▪ Brooke Hershberger, Granite Bay, Sr.
▪ Abby Jensen, Roseville, Sr.
▪ Kyra Rogers, Oakmont, Sr.
▪ Libby Deters, Granite Bay, Sr.
▪ Anna Donald, St. Francis, Sr.
▪ Maya Gilardi, Davis, Sr.
▪ Madison Hunziker, Rio Americano, Sr.
▪ Kelly Krigger, Oak Ridge, Sr.
▪ Julianne Miller, Rocklin, Jr.
▪ Megan McBroome, Rocklin, Jr.
▪ Olivia Reid, Oak Ridge, Jr.
▪ Kayla Williams, Pleasant Grove, Sr.
▪ Ally Wubben, Oakmont, Sr.
Erica Allen, Bella Vista; Brigid Bell, Granite Bay; Ryan Blackwood, Roseville; Lizzie Cameron, Oak Ridge; Kara Campbell, Union Mine; Lauren Danna, Yuba City; Abby Downs, Oakmont; Ashlynn Fresques, Christian Brothers; Marissa Gollnick, St. Francis; Macey Hayden, Whitney; Karlie Kijanka, Davis; Alexis Light, Pleasant Grove; Abby Marjama, Rocklin; Maddie Merlino, Rio Americano; Mikayla Parker, Bella Vista; Raquel Quirarte, Placer; Kaely Rath, Bear River; Ally Reines, Yuba City; Elizabeth Robinson, Christian Brothers; Madison Smith, Elk Grove.
How the teams were picked: Bee Preps Show co-host Mike Finnerty picked the teams based on observations and polling of regional coaches.
THE BEE’S TOP 20 FINAL RANKINGS
1. El Camino48-4
3. Pleasant Grove30-9
4. St. Francis30-12
5. Christian Brothers27-13
6. Oak Ridge28-8
7. Granite Bay25-13
11. Bella Vista19-10
12. Yuba City26-9
13. Rio Americano30-15
15. Elk Grove22-16
18. Bear River19-11
20. Bradshaw Christian20-13