The year Laila Ivey began her Indian Creek high school career is coincidentally the same year her school decided to give varsity volleyball a try.
The Eagles winning a conference crown in its inaugural season was one accomplishment. Another feat is now sending a player from its first year to the University of Maryland.
Hundreds of student athletes around Anne Arundel County put pen to paper and secured their athletic futures on Nov. 10 by signing a National Letter
of Intent with college programs across the country. A couple made their promise to the Terrapins.
The Terps reached out just as Ivey began a high school career that would include multiple awards from the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland. The moment the 6-foot-1 outside hitter became eligible for contact, Maryland offered her. “I think they definitely tried to pursue me,” Ivey said. “I think I was their top recruit for my class.”
It wasn’t just the allure of Big Ten play that sold Ivey on the Terps. She loved coach Adam Hughes, too.
Ivey’s an outside hitter, but college players are expected to play all around the court. In clinics leading up to that next step, Ivey’s pushed herself to develop her confidence so she can become every position. “I think he’ll really help me develop my play overall,” Ivey said.
Recruitment in many sports, especially volleyball, happens predominantly during club. Ivey competes for Metro Volleyball Club when she’s not in season with Indian Creek. That’s not to say the Eagles were back-burner to her bright future. Club developed her skill; varsity developed her leadership qualities.
“I’m a little bit of a passionate person, but that [varsity] got me to speak up more,” Ivey said.
Maryland often came to watch Ivey at Indian Creek, where she was able to help the fledgling volleyball program take flight.
The Eagles fell behind by 10 in the first set of the 2018 IAAM C Conference title game. One of Ivey’s teammates embarked on a huge serving run, which helped boost Indian Creek to take the game and then ultimately earn the sweep.
“It really taught me to put the ball away and to not be afraid,” Ivey said. “Or you’re gonna mess up. Just to give it your all and put everything out there.”