Our first recruit of the week is Lily Harvey, a Class of 2021 MB from Pope High School (Marietta, Georgia) and A5 Mizuno. Her highlights can be seen here. Let’s meet her.
You can attend a top 25 Division I program but might not ever make a big impact there, or you can be a big fish at a smaller school. Which do you pick, and why?
Wherever I end up going, I want to make a difference. I believe that I could do that at either of these options, as long as the other aspects of both schools match up. I would have to base my decision on other details, such as academics, location, campus life, etc. Whichever program could help me more in the future would be the one I would pick.
You’ve done well in high school and on the ACT/SAT, and you consider yourself brainy, but the best volleyball options you have would mean going to a school that had just an average reputation academically. How do you decide?
Don’t get me wrong, I love volleyball, and the team and coaches are a huge part in my decision. But for me personally, academics come first, and if a program isn’t a good academic fit for me, that is certainly a huge push factor. If I am not able to push myself academically, I don’t think I would be able to attend the school, even if they have the perfect volleyball team. I’d rather attend a school with better academics, even if that means the team isn’t quite as good.
The new recruiting rules prohibit you from making a Division I commitment until your junior year, do you personally think that is a good thing or a bad thing? Please explain.
I personally agree with this decision. I started recruiting as a freshman, and the schools I was looking at then are nothing like the ones I am currently considering. So much has changed since then that I know I would have regretted my decision if I had committed early. I think providing athletes more time to get to know themselves, what they are looking for, and what is reasonable for them is extremely important.
Let’s say you’ve decided on an academic major. School “A” has your major, but the volleyball program isn’t what you’re looking for. School “B” seems to be a perfect fit in every way but doesn’t have the major. Which do you choose and why?
As I mentioned before, academics come first for me. The major I am currently interested in, Biology/Pre-med, is fairly broad and is a major at most universities. If school B doesn’t have my major, I would probably pick school A. Even if I don’t end up choosing Biology in college, I am definitely planning on majoring in science, and a school that doesn’t have Biology as a major may not have as many science major options.
Team dynamics seem to be important to a lot of people. What’s your ideal team relationship situation – in the locker room, on the court, in the dorms, and on the weekend – and where do you fit in?
I want a team that is basically a sisterhood. I love getting to know my teammates and learning to trust them, and when that happens, I believe the team plays so much better. I play best when I am surrounded by people who support me and want me to succeed, so a close team relationship is super important.
What kind of coach gets the best out of you?
Speaking from experience, the best coaches I have ever had had a strong relationship with the players on and off the court. I play best when I am comfortable around my coaches and teammates, and when I know, they trust me as much as I trust them. I am super analytical, so feedback (positive and negative) is really important to me as well.
What is something unique that most people don’t know about you?
At one point in my life, I played six different sports at once! I ran cross country, did gymnastics, cheer, volleyball, swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, and dance. In middle school, I narrowed it down to swimming, volleyball, and cross country, and now I just do volleyball. I would still do cross country if it wasn’t a fall sport, but volleyball is more important, and the two overlap.
What about going to college scares the bejeebers out of you?
I’m a little nervous about leaving my family and my dog, but other than that, I’m excited to go to college! I think it will be a really great experience, and I’m looking forward to meeting new people and trying new things. I’ll be too busy with school and volleyball to miss home too much, but I’ll be happy to see everyone when I do get to visit.
Kill, Dig, Ace, or Block, which do you choose, and why?
Kill! There is nothing like getting a perfect hit in a game, especially if it’s a close match or if the other team has a huge block. Middles don’t get set as much as other hitters, so getting to take advantage of a perfect set is my favorite part of the game. It really helps get the team’s confidence up, too!
What was your first big success as an athlete, and how did it impact you?
2018 as a whole was a big year for my volleyball career. I played on an underdog team that worked super hard and ended up getting 3rd at AAUS. I had just come off an injury, and I had been so frustrated that I hadn’t been on the court for so long. During AAU’s, everything kind of clicked for everyone on the team. I had never seen hard work pay off as it did for us, and it really inspired me to keep pushing myself and never give up. Then in the fall, my high school team won states. We only had two people over 6-0, but we focused on our strengths and never let the ball drop. We came back from a 2-0 lead by the other team in the Elite Eight and pushed our way through to the finals, where we won 3-1. This reinforced what I had seen in club, and showed what dedication and endurance could do for a team.
Lily Harvey is looking for a school where she can be the difference-maker. She also understands that academics are her first priority. We wish her luck in her college search.