Volleyball Star Plays Nationally

Originally from the Dominican Republic, junior Miguel Tolentino plays for both the RHS boys’ varsity and the Dominican Republic’s national volleyball team. Tolentino mastered the basic skills of passing, setting and hitting to earn a starting spot on the roster.

Tolentino began playing volleyball when he was seven years old. In 2008, seven years after he began playing, he was offered a chance to represent the Dominican Republic as a setter and outside hitter. He is currently the youngest player on the team as he plays with others who are over the age of 20. Tolentino said, “I like to play volleyball because it is fun when the game is 24-24. I like the pressure to make the one point to win.”

Tolentino flies to the Dominican Republic every summer and fall to participate in games and tournaments. While there, Tolentino is required to practice in the city three times a week. He runs, conditions and works on his volleyball skills twice a day, for a total of six hours a day.

“Volleyball practice is hard for me because we run six miles and I don’t like to run and do abdominals,” Tolentino said.

Aside from practicing volleyball, Tolentino is required to sit through the same work-packed school days as all Montgomery County students. He finds it difficult to balance volleyball and classwork while traveling in the middle of the school year.

Boys’ varsity volleyball coach Sean Pang said, “While Miguel is new to Rockville – he came about two years ago – he shows a lot of potential and experience from his time playing in the Dominican Republic.”

In 2010, Tolentino received the Best Setter and Best Outside Hitter Award from the Dominican Republic’s national team. He also received the Best Offensive Player Award from RHS. In 2013, Tolentino received an Honorable Mention by the All-Gazette boys’ volleyball team. “He is very skilled and he jumps a lot and hits the ball very well,” said Mario Frias, a player on the Dominican Republic team.

Tolentino hopes to continue his volleyball career at Montgomery College. He will be playing in a tournament this fall to represent the Dominican Republic and will return to Maryland to play for RHS in the spring.

“I think he shows a lot of promise, he works hard and he just knows how to have a good time, all while being a very disciplined volleyball player,” Pang said.