New JV Volleyball Coach Sara Donnelly ‘14 Makes Great First Year Impression


Photo courtesy of Chuck Anerino CP ’23

Sofia Scarpaci '23, Staff Reporter

If you were to ask Sarah Donnelly when she was a senior back in 2014 if she could ever imagine herself back at Archmere almost a decade later, she would’ve said no. Now, Donnelly is back at her alma mater, coaching the junior varsity girls’ volleyball team, and assisting head coach Jerry McCarthy with the varsity. Sarah’s volleyball career starts from when she was in middle school. She entered Archmere her freshman year as a setter, and made varsity right off the bat- a big accomplishment within the “disciplined and intense” Archmere volleyball program. During her Archmere volleyball career, Sarah specialized as setter and libero, as well as played all-around. She became an all-conference player during her junior and senior years. After graduating, Sarah headed off to McDaniel College, where she continued playing volleyball. Now, she’s a woman in STEM, working as an analytical chemist at the FDA. 

Her fun-loving personality combined with love for volleyball and Archmere, as well as a hard work ethic, makes her just what the Archmere volleyball program needed this year. Losing their beloved coach Brittney Biddle for the season due to maternity leave, the girls hoped for another positive, ambitious presence to accompany them throughout the season- and that’s just what they received. JV sophomore Marley Brown says that Coach Sarah “pushes us to be the best players that we can be” by her “positive energy and want-to-win attitude.” It is clear that Coach Sarah loves to win- she even says it herself. Her favorite thing about the program, in addition to getting to know and be with the “funny, hard working, kind-hearted girls,” is “suceed[ing] and help[ing] others win.” Sarah motivates her team by emphasizing the ecstatic feeling of a win, and pushing them to work as hard as possible in order to recover that same jubilant feeling each gameday. This winning mindset proves itself on the court, as the JV team is 8-0(subject to change). The varsity team loves Sarah, too. Senior Colleen McCann remarks that Sarah “sets the tone of practice and really goes the extra mile to help each player if they need it.” McCann also says that Coach Sarah’s “energetic, feminine presence” gets the girls excited to play and motivates them to work harder. 

It seems like Mr. Oswinkle could not have selected a better candidate to add to the Archmere Volleyball program than Sarah Donnelly. She inspires the entirety of the program, JV, Varsity, and Freshman team alike, to be the best versions of themselves through positivity, hard work, and determination. When asked what her goal was in joining the team this year, Sarah replied that she “wanted to make a positive impact on the players and guide them to be better both as an athlete and an overall person.” Much to the team’s delight, Sarah has accomplished this goal to a T.