Prep of the Year Honarable Mention: Elly Lundberg

Max Josef

When she first started playing CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) volleyball in seventh grade, senior Elly Lundberg was not the best on the court. After only playing for a year, Lundberg felt intimidated by her more experienced teammates. She even considered quitting the sport.

“I always felt intimidated and nervous. It was scary,” said Lundberg, now a highly decorated athlete in the Marin County Athletic League and the state.

Senior Elly Lundberg high fives her coaches and teammates after winning NCS
Senior Elly Lundberg high fives her coaches and teammates after winning NCS

Sometime during the season, however, she became best friends with her teammates, and her coaches and team started telling her she had huge potential. Motivated by their confidence––as well as a newfound appreciation for being on a team––she joined a well-known volleyball club (Absolute) in eighth grade to take her game to the next the level.

“When I played indoor volleyball, I was a middle. So I would pretty much just run in circles, block, approach, transition and not get set,” Lundberg said. “I was tired of jumping around and not standing out on my team. I wanted to try all of the different positions and [beach volleyball] just stuck.”

Next year, Lundberg will play beach volleyball at Arizona State.

“She never gives up, really determined and hardworking, always playing with a smile on her face, and she is never negative,” said teammate Margo Spaethling, who has played with her for eight years. “She is one of my favorite players to play with. Arizona State has no idea what is coming.”

Lundberg’s club and high school coach Katie Pease said she has seen Lundberg grow as a player and as a person since she stepped into the Absolute Volleyball Club gym as an eighth grader.

“She is a super athletic kid who also has the drive to push herself and others every time she’s on the court,” Pease said. “She’s always been a selfless and humble athlete and she is always willing to help in whatever way possible.”

Lundberg’s willingness to experiment with playing back row was rewarded when she was recognized as MCAL Player of the Year, the Marin IJ’s Player of the Year and a teammate on MaxPreps’ 2015 Division II all-state team after she recorded 365 kills and 350 digs.