Marlins of Mercy: Julia Bishop


Junior Julia Bishop launches a powerful serve to the opposing team at the pink out game earlier in the year. Photo by Dunya Kizy

“My volleyball journey has been a roller coaster of emotions with the highs and lows both ending in tears. At first, volleyball was a sport that gave me something to do. Little did I know that volleyball would soon become a lifestyle. 

I began playing when I was in third grade at my middle school, St. Sebastian. I knew when I was around 10 years old that I wanted to play college volleyball at Michigan State University. My parents took me to multiple games in East Lansing every year. As I continued to get older, this dream got closer. I was 11 when I got my first college questionnaire from Duke University. Over the next few years, schools began to contact me more and more. At first, it was very hard for me to juggle academics, athletics, personal life, and recruiting all as a 12-15 year old. I learned the need for time management and maturity. Going through such a time-consuming process at such a young age helped me mature in so many ways. 

Colleges came and left so many times before the decision was made. I was told I was ‘too short, too young, can’t jump high enough’ and more during this process. The most important thing I learned was patience and trust in God. God had a plan for me and taking me through these obstacles made the plan feel one hundred times better. Without all of the downs, the ups would not feel as powerful as they did. 

After receiving an offer from my dream school, the decision did not come as easy as I thought it would have. I narrowed my offers down to two schools: MSU and Western Kentucky University (who was a top 15 school this past volleyball season). Days and weeks went by without a definitive answer from me due to both schools having so much to offer. One day, it hit me. I knew that I had an opportunity to play in the same green and white jerseys I have always dreamt of playing in. And now it is a reality. 

Without the constant support of my parents through this process and the sacrifices they made to allow me to play the sport I love, I would not be where I am today. I am also beyond thankful for my friends, teammates, family, coaches and so much more for helping me to be the person and player I am today.”