Ava Wilcox made plenty of plays as an outside hitter during her first two seasons playing varsity volleyball for Lansing Catholic.
But the junior has wanted to be known for much more than that.
Wilcox is making sure that’s the case this fall and has had a big presence on and off the court for the Cougars, who are off to a 14-0-2 start.
“I really wanted to be the vocal leader,” said Wilcox, who was voted the latest LSJ high school athlete of the week winner. “I really wanted to make sure that we all were together and that we felt comfortable being around each other. For me, I really, really struggle sometimes with not saying enough. I wanted to make sure that his year, I wanted to say more I wanted to just constantly talk, constantly cheer.
“That was one big goal − I wanted to have fun and cheer and talk and just really bond instead of being the quiet freshman on the court that made varsity that just hits when she gets set. I wanted to be an impact (player) on this team and I wanted to be a vocal and physical leader.”
Both those aspects have been noticed by Lansing Catholic Coach Kevin McMillan this season. Wilcox has delivered with her play and leads the Cougars with 111 kills and ranks second with 116 digs and 21 aces. She ranks among the leaders in Greater Lansing in both.
Wilcox showed her versatile skills while helping Lansing Catholic win the Milan Tournament last weekend. She had a team-high 42 digs, 41 kills and 12 aces during the tourney.
“A lot of people look at her as a hitter and she’s probably one of the best Defenders I’ve seen in a long time (with) continuing to read plays and be in the right spot when the ball is coming over the net is huge for us,” McMillan said. “Serving − she serves with a really high-tempo and it’s a fast serve and she hits the spots that I’m asking her to hit. All of that together made for a great weekend for her leading in Kills and digs and aces.” .
The things that don’t show up on stat sheets have been just as important for Lansing Catholic She’s worked to build a connection with the new varsity setters, provided a calming presence and worked with teammates to put the Cougars in the best possible position to have success.
“Every day she comes in and works hard,” McMillan said. “She’s very well respected by her teammates.
“She’s really wanting other teammates to excel for the sake of the team. She teaches during practice. If other players are struggling, she gives them instructions and shows them some things so that’s great for me because I know I have a Coach on the floor to help out the other players if they are struggling.”
Last week’s winner:On a mission to prove himself, Colin Page is making an all-around impact for Mason football
Previous winner:Summer training propels Anna Delgado to new heights for East Lansing girls cross country
Contact Brian Calloway at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.