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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2020 2 months ago

Sports Spotlight: Will McElveen

Will McElveen is a member of the volleyball teams at both Olympia High School and the Winter Park Volleyball Club.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

A member of the volleyball teams at both Olympia High School and the Winter Park Volleyball Club, Will McElveen has quickly become a foundation for both organizations at the setter position. Recently, McElveen also helped his WPVC team claim an AAU national title.

When did you first get into volleyball?

I started playing AAU ball probably about three years ago. I got into volleyball because of my older sister, Emma. She grew up playing volleyball, so I grew up watching her, going to all of her games and tournaments, and I’d play with the ball and it would be a bunch of fun.

Since you first started playing volleyball, what is the biggest change that you’ve seen in yourself since then?

I went from playing baseball to volleyball, so it’s a whole different tempo change for me going from a very slow-tempo sport to a very fast one. I think it really changed how I look at things on the competitive side of things. 

What was that first year of volleyball like for you?

It was very different — I was a lot more tired after practice. We were learning fundamentals … but it was very different, especially during games when we were getting our butts kicked.

What’s your favorite part about playing at setter?

I love playing setter because I get to touch the volleyball more than almost everyone on the court. I love being the most active, and I love controlling the offense — that’s the setter’s job. I love the feeling of that control. The hardest part is distributing the volleyball … getting everybody the ball when they need it, how they need it.

Is there a highlight moment during your time in volleyball that stands out?

Just winning the national championship a few days ago. And (in) high school ball, we played Windermere High School, and I think that was one of the best performances as a player that I’ve ever had. 

You recently won an AAU national title with Winter Park Volleyball Club. What was that like?

It was crazy. We lost the first set badly — 25-12 I think — and all of our hopes were down, then I went back to serve, and I got us a couple of points in a row. Then our fire picked back up. Coming back to win that third set was absolutely amazing — my heart was pounding, and I thought I was going to throw up a little bit. It was crazy going from the second-to-last team ranked in AAU to being the best, that just keeps me in awe.

Is there anything you’re working on right now to get better at?

I’d probably say my vertical. I’ve been going to workouts recently trying to get that up, my agility, trying to get to the ball quicker and being very physical. I’ve been working on beach, which helps me a lot I think — it makes me a 10-times-better player.

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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