One senior’s volleyball journey


Loussia plays outside hitter and spikes the ball over the net, scoring a point for the Mercy Varsity volleyball team. Photo used with permission from Ella Loussia

Ella Loussia hears the crowd screaming as she is on the volleyball court. The game has escalated quickly and the score is very close. Loussia’s nerves increase as the ball flies over the net onto her team’s side. She certainly feels the pressure, since this game will determine if her team will advance to Nationals. Suddenly, the other team misses the ball and the whole gym watches it fall to the floor. Screams fill the gym.

 This is a memorable day for Loussia, not only because her Team Detroit volleyball team became State Champions, but because she got offered a spot at Canisius College. She will be attending Canisius College the fall of 2019. Loussia did not expect to be watched by recruiters, so the offer certainly took her by surprise. This was a difficult decision for her because she had planned to stay in Michigan for college. However, she said could not turn a full ride scholarship down to do what she loves every day.

“Volleyball has been a huge part of my life for the past seven years,” said Loussia. “It’s crazy to see how far I have come since then.”   

Loussia started playing volleyball in 5th grade at St. Fabian Catholic School. She instantly fell in love with the sport and wanted to continue playing. She even took on club volleyball, so she could practice year round.

“Volleyball has always been an escape for me,” said Loussia. “The second I walk into the gym all my worries disappear.”

Loussia has also been playing on Mercy’s volleyball team for four years. She has played every position while being on the team, but her main position is outside hitter. The coaches Loretta Vogel, Mallory Kopa, and Andrew Thompson have guided the girls on their journey by constantly coming up with new methods to improve the team. For example, Vogel has them play every position rather than stick to their main so they can have a versatile team. Also, the coaches strongly encourage the girls to build strong bonds with each other on and off the court.

“I see my team more than my own family,” said Loussia. “We’re together in school, after school, and on the weekends.”

The team has worked extremely hard this year and made it all the way to the State Championships. Loussia said even though they did not win, they are happy with how far they had come because going to states is an incredible accomplishment.

“I am really going to miss my Mercy team,” said Loussia. “I can’t imagine not playing with them next year.”