Piatas Thrives with Miami Culture

by Ashleigh Young

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami volleyball preaches the importance of team culture.

Noelle Piatas was sold on the coaching philosophy and the culture that is instilled in the team when making her decision to commit to “The U”.

“It was all about the way the coaches and the girls interacted together,” Piatas said. “I loved how close everyone. It was huge, the way the team was comfortable with all the coaches, I could just tell there was a very close bond on the team.”

Her recruitment started early during her freshman and sophomore years in high school and it was Piatas’ ability to hit the ball hard that piqued the interest of associate head coach Kasey Crider.

“She was one of the most highly regarded eighth graders in her graduating class and remained that way through high school,” Crider said. “She was kind of a grown woman playing with girls and she had the ability to hit it really hard and had good size. When you’re recruiting that young, one of the factors you’re looking for is the raw tools. That includes size and length, jumping ability, speed and maybe the crown joule is the arm speed and power. She had those tools.”

The Plano, Texas native always wanted to get out of the Lonestar state when she thought of college. Her top destinations were either California or Florida. Ultimately, it was the Sunshine State that won her over.

Miami’s coaching staff attended numerous tournaments Piatas competed in and gave her feedback that could help improve her game. It was the way they talked to her and made her feel that was another selling point.

Piatas, an energetic and aggressive player, brings experience as a freshman having reached the State Championships her senior year. Although they ended up as finalists, the experience and the level of competition she experienced is proving helpful in the fast-paced Canes’ practice.

“The hours of practice are completely different from club or high school and practice now is a lot more intense and serious,” Piatas.

Miami volleyball returned to the gym weeks ago and Piatas credits the sophomore class for taking her under their wings. Angela Grieve, Amanda Falck and Savannah Vach have helped the new outside hitter adjust to the Canes’ way of play. The group competed in previous tournaments and attended camps together, helping the transition run even smoother.

Itching to play in her first collegiate match, Piatas hopes to change her mindset this season and help the Canes in any way she can.

“I want to change the way I think and not get so frustrated if I mess up,” Piatas said. ”I want to stay positive and I really hope to improve my game and help the team in any way possible.”