Girls Volleyball: Hannah Juley takes her turn at Lyons
Sophomore setter Hannah Juley noted that Lyons will not only lose All-State setter Alexis Viliunas this fall, but a pair of other starters, all combining for nearly a dozen years as former varsity players.
The roster looked a little different when Lyons took the floor Wednesday for the first day of preseason practice.
But much of the focus will be on Juley, who is expected to succeed Viliunas, the Sun-Times player of the year who is now at Illinois.
“Offensively, I’m not quite sure yet how we’ll do now that Alexis has graduated,” Juley said. “That’s a steep hole to fill. We’re figuring it out right now; I can’t tell you. We’ll see how it goes.”
Juley played mostly outside hitter last season while Viliunas ran the offense, Two other stalwarts from the 2010 Class 4A state championship team, outside hitter Laura Williams (Duke) and libero Megan Miller (Wake Forest), graduated leaving some enormous roles to be filled by Juley, senior outside hitter Alyssa Keeve and junior middle Catherine King.
Juley and Lyons teammate Toni Saracco are coming off an 11th place finish with Western Springs-based Lions Jrs. 15-1 at the USA Junior Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, in July.
Both were recognized by PrepVolleyball.com as standout freshmen from last season. They played in every match on last season’s 30-9 team and will be counted on for even bigger things in 2012 after Lyons’ season ended in a supersectional loss to Marist.
After Junior Nationals, Juley spent a portion of her summer attending setting camps at Long Beach State and UCLA. Her older sister, Erin, led Lyons to its recent state championship as the starting setter. Erin became Long Beach’s starting setter last season as a freshman and had surgery in December to repair a torn meniscus in her knee.
Erin Juley works closely with Long Beach assistant coach Matt Ulmer, who formerly played at Stevenson. Ulmer’s mother is former Stevenson boys and girls volleyball coach Leanne Ulmer.
Long Beach’s most famous volleyball player, Misty May-Treanor, won her third Olympic gold medal in beach volleyball Wednesday and once led Long Beach to an NCAA national championship as a setter.
Hannah Juley attended her third consecutive setting camp at Long Beach this summer.
“To me, at Long Beach, I learned so much the way they break it down,” Hannah said. “The camp is around three days and it’s a full day. You learn so much. It’s the best camp in the nation.”
Erin and Hannah spent around seven weeks together during the summer.
“We talk about what kind of setter I want to be,” Hannah said.
This season, she is likely aiming to be a winning one.