Sterling, VA (Mar. 9, 2017) – Potomac Falls senior Kylie Thomas has commit to play volleyball for Virginia Tech beginning the 2017/2018 academic school year.
“I knew I wanted to go to Virginia Tech for a really long time,” said Thomas. “I got my offer in July 2015 after attending their Nike Elite camp, but I didn’t end up committing until February 2016. After I made my decision, I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. It was rewarding to know that all of my hard work had paid off, and am so happy to be able to call Virginia Tech my home away from home.”
“My recruiting experience was a little bit different than most people. I had the opportunity to meet Chris Riley (now former-head coach at VT) when I was 12 years old. My older sister Makaely was at the high school camp held at Virginia Tech and I was asked to join the Freshmen/JV team by Linda Lachey-Helms, my soon to be high school coach. Ever since that first camp they put me on their watch list. Since then, I have been going there yearly for camps, and have sent them both videos and schedules of my club teams. In the end it worked out perfectly as I was offered an amazing opportunity four years later. I will always be grateful to Coach Lachey for opening that door for me.”
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech, is a public, research university with a main campus in Blacksburg, VA. The commonwealth’s third-largest university offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The school is also a research powerhouse, with seven research institutes and two university research centers – including the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute – which offer research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students alike. In it’s 2017 edition of Best Colleges National Universities, U.S. News & World report ranks Virginia Tech #74.
“I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level volleyball possible,” said Thomas. “To obtain that goal I had to switch club positions from outside hitter to libero, since there are not too many 5’8” outside hitters at the D-1 level. Choosing Virginia Tech as my school wasn’t a hard decision for me; it had everything I was looking for. Aside from the volleyball aspect, the school itself is outstanding. Tech’s academic level is what I am looking for. They also have a beautiful campus, an amazing athletic program and an energetic environment! Virginia Tech is also only 4 hours away from home and being able to come home during breaks was really important to me.”
Thomas’ head volleyball coach will be Jill Lytle. Lytle, a nationally respected coach and proven recruiter was selected to lead the Virginia Tech volleyball program in January 2017 after a 10-year stint with LSU. Wilson became the fifth head coach in the 40-year history of the women’s volleyball program at Tech. She joins the Hokies after an extremely successful run on the bench in Baton Rouge where, as the recruiting coordinator, she signed five top-30 recruiting classes according to PrepVolleyball.com. She also helped lead the Tigers to six NCAA Tournament appearances and the 2009 SEC Championship, as well as 25-win seasons in 2007, 2009 and 2010. The Tigers averaged over 20 wins per season during her time on the LSU staff.
“I’m so excited and I really like the new coaches!” shared Thomas. “My expectations next year are to come into my new volleyball family and adjust to a new style of living. I will be a positive and supportive teammate, and work extremely hard to hopefully earn playing time my freshman year. I will expect to be successful academically.”
Thomas, the two-time VHSL 5A All-State outside hitter, two-time All-Loudoun volleyball team selection has been playing competitive club volleyball since the age of eleven. Although, she started playing earlier by following her older sister to her practices (she played with the wall a lot). Asked about one of her fondest memories during that tenure Kylie shared, “One of my fondest volleyball memories would have to be going to the state finals my junior year. We ended up losing but the whole experience throughout our playoff run was incredible! Another great memory would be winning the Regional Championship against Stone Bridge that same year as well, that’s something I will never forget. Our student body came together to support us during that game. They cheered us on to victory and it really meant a lot to the whole team!”
“I am so thankful of my parents for all their support, time, and investment they made in me, and helping me find the right coaches to grow as a competitive player. I am also very thankful for my sister, Makaely, who taught me how to play volleyball in the first place. We spent many days in our backyard or street peppering back and forth. Aside from my family, I am especially thankful for all of my coaches who believed in me and helped me get to where I am today. Their influence truly didn’t go unnoticed.”
Asked what advice she’d share with others pursuing their dreams, Kylie responded, “I would say to the young girls who have a dream of playing college volleyball or any sport, that it is possible! I would advise finding a sport that you love, look for good training and coaches, and find a few good friends who support your goals. You never know until you try, so go all out and work hard. You really can surprise yourself, I know I did.”
Please join us in wishing Kylie Thomas the very best in her success on the volleyball court, while pursuing a degree in business and criminology.