North Texas Daily

The Palileos: Like father, like daughter

The Palileos: Like father, like daughter

The Palileos: Like father, like daughter
October 08
02:04 2015

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer

@toriemosley

For head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo, “Bring Your Kid to Work Day” has become an everyday reality.

Freshman defensive specialist Alyvia Palileo joined the Mean Green this fall, making this her third year playing for her father. Alyvia began playing for her dad’s club team, North Point Volleyball Club, two years ago.

Although she gets to play for her dad, she still knows her place on the team.

“I guess there’s a lot of expectations for me to be a leader,” Alyvia said. “For practice I always come a little early. I’m not the team captain or anything, so I know that the older girls run everything. But I take care of what I can as a freshman.”

Alyvia said playing for her father might seem new to other players or fans, but it is nothing out of the ordinary for her.

“I think a lot of people think that it’s a new thing, but I’ve had 18 years of him being my coach,” she said. “When we come to practice, whatever happens on the court, I’m going to take whatever criticism he gives me. And then when we’re off the court, it’s totally fine.”

Coach Palileo said his experience teaching his daughter on and off the court has made coaching her on the collegiate level much easier.

The third-year Mean Green coach has a reputation of being strict with the volleyball squad during practice and games, but he said nothing changes with the addition of his daughter to the roster.

“I can [criticize] Alyvia, and we can ride home together in the car and be father-daughter,” he said. “I’m just as hard on her as everybody else and might be even a little harder, but I prepped her for these moments.”

Although Alyvia played for Coach Palileo’s North Point club team for the past two years, she didn’t consider playing for North Texas until last spring.

After visiting other schools and not leaving recruiting visits satisfied, the freshman decided to take the one offer she couldn’t refuse.

“It was always a joke, like, ‘You know you’re going to end up playing for me.’ And I’d be like, ‘No way. Never,’” she said. “As things panned out, I saw a couple of schools that were alright. The club season went on, and I decided that I’d play for UNT.”

Team captain and junior setter Amy Henard remembers seeing Alyvia first play under her father when Henard worked as an assistant coach for Palileo at the North Point club.

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Head volleyball coach Andrew Palileo and his daughter freshman setter Alyvia Palileo pose for a photo at the North Texas volleyball court after practice. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

Henard said the chemistry Alyvia and coach Palileo have on and off the court makes it easier for teammates to play together.

“I got to coach Alyvia, which was fun, and I just got to see them off the court before she got here. So I knew their relationship,” Henard said. “They have a lot of the same sense of humor. If he’s in a bad mood, she knows the right joke to say to him to make him laugh and lighten the mood. So it’s actually good to have her around sometimes.”

Alyvia said she looks up to the older players like Henard and senior captain outside hitter Carnae Dillard for guidance. The freshman formerly played as a setter throughout her career but had to change to a defensive specialist because of her height. At 5’7 , it is difficult to compete as a setter at the collegiate level.

Following in the footsteps of the more experienced players on the team has made transitioning to a new position much easier, according to the Denton Guyer High School graduate.

“I think they’re both really good leaders on and off the court,” Alyvia said of Dillard and Henard. “When all the freshmen came in this year, all the older players took us under their wing right away. It’s been a transition coming here, but I think the team has helped a lot to get me through that by teaching me as I’m going. And I’m really grateful for that.”

Coach Palileo said he’s starting to get used to seeing his daughter at work every day, opposed to just seeing her after work before.

“She’s a good, cultured kid for our team and battling hard everyday to try to get on the court,” he said. “It’s good because I get to see her every day. We don’t necessarily talk every day, but just knowing she’s around is great.”

Alyvia also said she’s warmed up to seeing her father every day on and off the court, even if she needs her space sometimes.

“We have a really good relationship. I think I’m his best friend, actually,” she said. “Some days we don’t talk as much as other days. But it’s nice, because for the most part we’ve always been friends, and we just joke around and have a good time when we’re together.”

As a coach, Palileo said he tries to implement different techniques to prepare for games every day. But as a father, he tries to give his daughter space to grow as both a player and a person.

“I try to let her grow up and do her own thing and trust that she’s making the right choices,” Palileo said. “The biggest thing I’ve talked to her about being the coach’s kid is that you have to be the first one in and the last one out every single time. She’s done a good job getting [the team] to trust that she’s not going to tell me everything they’re talking about. So the trust is there.”

Palileo said he knows coaching Alyvia will be a challenge as the next few years of her college career approach, but he looks forward to all the time he’ll get to spend with his only daughter.

“It’s fun to coach a kid,” he said. “Especially if they listen.”

Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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