Whitman-Hanson Regional High girls’ volleyball senior captain Lily Welch was tabbed the Patriot League Keenan Division MVP.
Gyms were closed and the state was locked down.
Remember that last year?
Of course you do.
But it did not stop Lily Welch from getting in her reps.
“I set up this old badminton net between two trees in my yard so I could practice hitting and peppering over it with my mom,” Welch said.
Later that fall, Welch and the Whitman-Hanson Regional High girls’ volleyball team stumbled to a 3-9 record during a COVID-shortened campaign.
“It just felt like every game I was putting in my everything, during remote school I would lift before going to practice, and I wanted it so bad, but we would come so short every game,” Welch said.
She decided to take a year off from playing basketball to focus solely on volleyball.
It paid off.
Welch racked up 263 kills, 190 digs and 140 blocks this past season, propelling W-H to a program-best 13-6 record. She was named the Patriot League Keenan Division MVP.
“Aside from her dedication, her talent is what sets her apart from others on the court,” said W-H head coach Samantha Richner. “Lily is dripping in athleticism, but she is constantly working on being better. She never settles and always wants to be better, and is shows.”
Welch was the catalyst in upset wins over both Hingham (17 kills and eight blocks) and Duxbury (15 kills).
“During the game versus Duxbury at Whitman-Hanson, she showed so much leadership,” said fellow senior captain Abby Martin. “She was telling us everything she knew about the team the day before and was getting everyone hyped up before the game.”
It was that kind of leadership which is why Welch was a two-year captain.
“She makes everyone around her better by honestly showing up to practice everyday and staying late after practice helping girls on the team,” Martin said. “She has a passion for this sport like no one else and she is just happy doing it.”
There is more.
“During the offseason, Lily is constantly in communication with me and her team working on ways to improve for the upcoming season,” Richner said. “She dedicates her time to hosting and participating in clinics, volunteering to help run camps, and hosting captain’s practices.”
Welch believes her passion set her apart.
“I practice almost everyday all year, I believe there’s always a way you can be getting better,” Welch said. “You can be talented or athletic but if you don’t want it, all of that means nothing. Volleyball is something I love so much and when I’m on the court there’s nothing I want more than to be the best I can be for my team.”
While Welch doesn’t have plans to play at the next level, she intends to stay involved in the game she loves.
“Wherever I end up, I want to coach or teach lessons for volleyball and I will definitely be back to help and watch the younger players at Whitman-Hanson,” she said.