Sterling, VA (September 30, 2015) – Dominion High School senior Julia Avoletta has commit to play volleyball for West Virginia University beginning the 2016-2017 academic school year.
“It felt great to commit to West Virginia, said Avoletta. It’s relieving to know where I will be attending college next year when most seniors are just starting to figure that out. Although the recruiting process was very long, it was worth it because I have found the school for me and get to be a part of their volleyball program.”
West Virginia University is a public institution located along the Monongahela River in the small city of Morgantown in the northern part of the state. WVU offers nearly 200 bachelors, masters, doctoral and professional programs within 15 colleges. A few of the graduate degrees available include those in the College of Business and Economics, the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and the School of Medicine, which is home to highly ranked rural medicine and primary care programs. There are also more than 400 student organizations for students to try, including nearly 30 Greek chapters, as well as club and intramural sports. For varsity athletics, students can choose from nearly 20 WVU Mountaineers teams, which compete in the NCAA Division I Big 12 Conference.
“I was looking for a school that would provide a good education as well as a highly competitive volleyball program and WVU had both, said Avoletta. It was also important to me on the distance from home, the campus and the size of school.”
Avoletta’s head volleyball coach will be Reed Sunahara. Coach Sunahara was named the fourth head coach in West Virginia University volleyball program history in March of 2015. Sunahara served as the top assistant for the U.S. National Team from March 2013 to January 2014, helping Team USA to a 25-6 record and a No. 2 world ranking at that time. He also served as the head coach for Team USA during its gold medal run at the 2012 Women’s Pan American Cup in Juarez, Mexico, and was a NORCECA instructor, guiding both the Jamaican National Team and U18 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship teams to gold medals as well. Prior to his time with USA Volleyball, Sunahara spent 11 seasons as the head coach at Cincinnati, where he led the Bearcats to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and recorded 20 or more wins every season.
Avoletta has played volleyball since the 6th grade, but when asked about one of her fondest memories playing volleyball she was quick to share Dominion’s recent upset victory over the reigning state champion Loudoun County Raiders. “After a long night of back and forth rallies, we defeated them in the 5th set, 15-13. It was a tiring match, but we pulled through and came out with a win. It is one of my favorite moments because I got to see all the hard work we put into our practices really pay off. I can’t wait for the rest of the season with my team.”
“I am so thankful for my family for all their support. They have sacrificed so much so I could play volleyball. They have spent most of their free time taking me on college visits and attending tournaments during the club season. I am appreciative that they pushed me to work harder to get where I am today. I am also very thankful for my club coach Kris Wojeck at NVVA. She has spent a lot of time working with me to find the right school. I learned so much from her, she has made me a better volleyball player.”
When asked what advice she’d give with others pursuing their dream, Julia shared, “Do not give up. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. It has always been a dream of mine to play Division 1 volleyball, but it was not an easy process. I worked endless hours to become better at volleyball as well as researching schools and contacting coaches. There were times that it would have been easier to quit, but you just have to remember what you’re working for and what the end goal.”
Please join us in wishing Julia Avoletta the very best in her success on the volleyball court and in the classroom as she pursues a degree in health and sciences at West Virginia University.