Bush's Sophie S. ’22 Signs NLI to Play DI Volleyball
Wednesday afternoon, a once dream became a reality for Bush’s Sophie S. ’22. Surrounded by family, friends and members of The Bush School community, Sophie officially signed her National Letter of Intent to play Division I collegiate volleyball at the University of Illinois (Champaign, Illinois) next fall.
“It means so much,” Sophie said of this day. “There’s been so much hard work that’s been put into this, and I thank the people who have supported me, like my parents and my coaches. It’s great to have everyone here because so much has gone into this day.”
Sophie, who has played volleyball since the Fifth Grade, made her verbal commitment to the powerhouse Big 10 school in the late summer of 2020. It’s been more than a year to make things official, but for the six-foot-two outside hitter, the wait has been more than worth it. Illinois is currently ranked #25 in the nation and competed in one of the toughest conferences in the country.
“It’s so nice to just sign,” she said. “It feels really official. Although the verbal commitment means a lot, it’s still only a verbal commitment.I've been certain for so long and to finally see it written on paper is really nice.”
Sophie was named All-League First Team in Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Grade, AND this past season, she averaged nearly 55% and 9.75 kills per match, along with an 87.05% of serves in-play, and contributed 30.9% of the total team points earned. As a junior, she led the team in total kills with a 49%.
A two-year captain, Sophie guided Bush to a fifth-place finish in the Emerald Sound Conference and one match away from a 1A state tournament berth this season. An outside hitter, Sophie’s been an influential force for the Bush Varsity Volleyball team all four years, and is looking forward to taking the next step.
“Joining this program (Illinois) next year, I'm just so excited,” Sophie said. “I think we are going to be really good. I’m hoping to find and fulfill my own place and define that for myself, and be a part of a top contender in the country.”