5’10 hitter from Tehachapi, California impressed by Washington’s “mental game”
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|Destiny Julye signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Washington|
Growing up, Destiny Julye’s dad wanted his three kids involved in sports.
“Dad plays racquetball,” says Julye. “It’s the only sport that either of my parents play.”
Both Destiny and her older sister chose volleyball over basketball (and racquetball). “I was better at volleyball,” she says, “and thought I could go farther.”
Today, on the first official day of National of Intent announcements for 2015 high school seniors, University of Washington head coach Jim McLaughlin confirmed that Julye will, indeed, go far … from little Tehachapi, California, all the way north to Seattle. Julye (pronounced like the month of July) is the first confirmed signing of next fall’s volleyball class.
Tehachapi, located east of Bakersfield, sits almost 4,000 feet above sea level, not far from the Mojave Desert. It gets a fair amount of snow, but “I like the rain,” says Julye. “I think it will be good thing for me to be in a big city, in a different environment.”
McLaughlin started scouting Julye in her sophomore season, but she initially leaned toward UCLA. This March, she paid an official visit to Washington, with UW libero Cassie Strickland as her guide. “Cassie is very passionate about the game,” says Julye. “I love that about her.” She also fell in love with the University, and decided a few weeks later that Washington would be her choice.
In her junior year, Julye was the Kern County regional Player of the Year. This summer, she led her the Bakersfield Volleyball Club to the gold medal in the USA Division of the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals in Minneapolis, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. This week, her high school is in the quarterfinals of the CIF Central Section championships.
Tehachapi High head coach Sheri Dees says Julye has one of the quickest, strongest arms she’s seen in a high school player. “It’s scary to be on the other side of the court,” she says, “trying to dig one of her hits. Many times, she’s hitting over the block.” This summer, Julye touched 10 feet, 2 inches on her approach.
Dees calls her star player “an excellent passer,” who plays outside hitter on the front line and middle in the back row. Dees says Julye is a vocal leader, often telling her fellow hitters where to attack the ball during rallies.
For her part, Julye says she chose Washington most of all for the program’s emphasis on the mental part of playing volleyball. “A lot of sports,” she says, just focus on getting into the weight room and things like that. Washington tries to work on the mental side of the game. I really like that.”