Athlete of the Week: Wylee Van Bellinger

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Van Bellinger living up to family standards

Wylee Van Bellinger (10) was a second team all-conference selection in the Marinette & Oconto Conference last season. (Contributed photo)

Athlete: Wylee Van Bellinger

Sport: Volleyball

School: Suring High School

Year: Senior

Growing up in a family that has achieved plenty of athletic success can be a tough standard to live up to for some of the younger members of the family. That isn’t the case for Suring senior volleyball player Wylee Van Bellinger, who has enjoyed a strong career on the volleyball court and is hoping to make her final season her best yet. At a triangular on Sept. 6, Van Bellinger led Suring with 25 digs, 15 attack kills and eight aces across two matches. In a loss to Crivitz this past Tuesday, she tallied five attack kills, and in a victory over Gillett on Thursday, she totaled eight digs and seven attack kills. Van Bellinger was a second team all-conference selection in the Marinette & Oconto Conference a season ago.

Q: When did your interest in volleyball begin?

A: In elementary school when I started watching my older sisters play.

Q: What’s your favorite part about a volleyball match or the volleyball season?

A: During a match, it’s the pure excitement after a big play. During the season, it’s towards the end when we have found our rhythm and everything feels right.

Q: You have enjoyed a really successful high school career. What has helped you become the player you are today?

A: Having older siblings to live up to has played a big part in my success. But having parents and coaches that don’t accept “good enough” from me has made me really want to push myself more and more.

Q: What things do you and the team need to continue working on as the season progresses to be ready for the postseason?

A: We need to work on our defensive play, moving lower and reacting quicker in order to dig up more balls. Improving our ability to read hitters will be a huge gain.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of competing on the Suring volleyball team?

A: It would have to be winning conference my sophomore year or going to sectional finals my freshman year.

Q: Do you have any rituals you go through before matches?

A: During the JV game, I try to think of the good things I did the last game and how I did them. With the team, I listen to a lot of pump-up music and try to get all of them pumped up and ready to play. Before every game I like to tell all of them, “It’s your game; play it.”

Q: Do you look up to any particular athletes? If so, why them?

A: My sisters (Seger, Calley and Azee). They were top athletes in their classes and set the bar high. I’m trying to follow in their footsteps. Also, my dad. He did sports for so long that any question I have I can always go to him, and how hard he worked in sports inspires me everyday.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in school or competing in a high school sport?

A: Definitely work with my horses. Any extra time I have, I like to spend with them. Being around them is relaxing for me.

Q: Favorite TV show, movie, musical artist?

A: My favorite TV show would have to be “The Office,” movie is “Southpaw” and pretty much any country artist.

Q: Name one thing about yourself that not many people know.

A: I’m a pretty open book but probably I got stung by a jellyfish while in Mississippi.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote, verse, or lyrics from a song?

A: Lyrics: “Be a best friend, tell the truth and overuse I love you,” and quote: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”