North Catholic senior outside hitter Dominique Felix was trying to be perfect in a sport where such a pursuit is futile.
Mistakes happen in a fast-paced game like volleyball.
No one is perfect. Not even close.
Felix, though, fixated on it.
“Dom is very, very self-critical,” said North Catholic coach Amanda Fetter. “She wants to win and she wants to win all the time. We talked about letting things go. It's OK to fail every once in a while. That's why you have 25 points. You can make 23 disgusting errors and still win.”
Felix took heed of that advice. She relaxed and let her natural talent, tall, lanky frame and powerful right arm take over.
What resulted was a season in which Felix recorded a staggering 604 kills and helped the Trojanettes to their first state title.
For her efforts, Felix was named Butler Eagle Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.
Seneca Valley's Sarah White, Knoch's trio of Skye Burkett, Kennedy Christy and Hannah Rowe were also considered for the honor.
But 604 kills is 604 kills. That's an average of 24.6 per match and Felix had 25 in the state championship win over North Penn-Liberty.
“It really does speak for itself,” Fetter said. “Someone else asked me to make a case for Dom for another award and I said, 'She has 604 kills. I don't have to say anything else.
“She came out this year and blew me away,” Fetter said. “She knocked my sox off.”
She even surprised herself.
Felix was good last season as North Catholic won the WPIAL title, but she felt she had much more to give.
This season, she rounded into her dominating form at mid-season after that long talk with Fetter.
“It was kind of hard to wrap my head around it,” Felix said. “I didn't know I had that many kills.”
Confidence was the key and Felix began getting a heaping, helping of it last year in her first season at North Catholic.
Felix played her first two high school seasons at Oakland Catholic, but it just wasn't working out for her or her older sister, Alana.
While looking for another school, they visited North Catholic.
Dominque Felix knew it was the right place for her and Alana.
But she had to break some old habits when she got there.
“I used to look at the bench whenever I made a mistake, expecting to be reprimanded,” Felix said. “Eventually, (Coach Fetter) said to me, 'What are you looking at?'”
Felix began playing volleyball in the fourth grade, but it wasn't always her No. 1 sport.
Felix also ran cross country and played basketball.
Basketball, however, wasn't at the top of her list of favorite things to do, even though her father, Patrick, played for Duquesne.
Eventually, her love for volleyball grew so much, it eclipsed everything else.
“To see how far I came from there to the present, I'm really blessed,” she said.
Felix was also floored by her recognition as Butler Eagle Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.
“It means the world,” Felix said. “I've put in countless hours.”
The highlight, though, of her career — and her senior year in general — was winning the state title.
Especially because of the road the Trojanettes took to get there after losing to Freeport in the WPIAL Class 2A final.
“It makes the state championship so much sweeter,” Felix said. “After losing to Freeport in the WPIAL, all we wanted to do was to get back to play them again and beat them at least once in my high school career. It fueled us.”
Now there will be a banner in the North Catholic gym commemorating their win.
“It didn't really hit me until the banquet,” Felix said. “We can come back with our families and see that banner one day. We were the first ones to do it.”