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Romeo’s Milana named 2015 Miss Volleyball Award Winner

By: Jeff Dullack, November 16, 2015, 7:48 pm

Romeo – On Monday afternoon, Romeo’s Gia Milana was named the 2015 Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association Miss Volleyball Award winner.

Milana received 299 points in the voting, while Novi’s Victoria Iacobelli finished in second place and Grand Rapids Christian’s Dylynn Otte finished in third place.

Milana said that while winning Miss Volleyball wasn’t one of her original goals, as she was more focused on Romeo’s goals as a team, winning the award was a surreal experience.

“It’s surreal,” she said. “It wasn’t one of my goals, my goal was to get a banner, I want to get a state championship. I wanted my team to have that trophy, I wasn’t focused on a trophy for myself, I was focused on a state championship, so after I got that, I was focused another one. So I really haven’t had much time to think about Miss Volleyball, but now that I have this honor, it’s so surreal.”

Milana and Romeo are still focused on the 2015 season as the Bulldogs are currently preparing for a Class A quarterfinal where they will face Traverse City West on Tuesday, looking for a second straight trip to Battle Creek for the Volleyball semifinals.

Last season, Milana helped lead Romeo to its first volleyball state title.

Romeo coach Stacy Williams, who has been the varsity coach for the Bulldogs for 10 years, said that what makes Milana an elite volleyball player is her athleticism.

“She’s one of the top athletes, she’s an incredible volleyball player, but it’s not just volleyball, it’s athleticism,” she said. “She jumps high, she moves quick, she’s a competitor, she wants to win.”

Milana, who is committed to Maryland, and Romeo entered the playoffs as the No. 6 ranked team in Class A, looking for a second straight state title.

“It would mean so much to me,” Milana said of possibly winning a second straight state title to go along with the Miss Volleyball award. “Just knowing that all of the hard work, all of the four years that have been blood, sweat and tears, working for this program, this community has really backed me up. All of my coaches that have coached me, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity and it would mean so much to get another state championship for this school.”

Williams said that she found out Milana would win the award last week, but noted it wasn’t difficult to keep the secret from her star player.

“I found out last week that she was Miss Volleyball,” she said. “And I kind of had hoped that she would get it, so part of that excitement was a long time ago, but I knew last week. It really wasn’t that hard to hold that secret, because in her eyes, she wants to win, she’s not focused on the individual awards, she’s focused on the win and she still is.”

Milana, an outside hitter, was considered one of the favorites to win the Miss Volleyball Award at the beginning of the season, but said that she never expected she’d win the award.

“It’s something that I never even thought would happen to me,” she said. “When I started playing volleyball, I played because I love volleyball, I didn’t play because I thought I’d be good or accomplish something this amazing, but it’s definitely the cherry on top. Volleyball is as fun as it is, but now it just makes it even more worthwhile.”