State team call-up puts young Warrnambool volleyballer in middle of action

LAURYN Keeley uses a wall at the back of her Warrnambool home to practice volleyball technique.

Lauryn Keeley is leaping at the opportunity to represent her state.

Lauryn Keeley is leaping at the opportunity to represent her state.

The extra hours of practice helped the South West Pirate make her first state team.

Lauryn, 14, will represent Victoria at the School Sport Australia volleyball championships in Adelaide in August.

She received a late call-up to the 10-player team after being named an emergency.

The Emmanuel College student, who represented her school at western region level in Horsham on Tuesday, said it was a huge honour to represent her state.

“They called home and they said a girl had gone and joined the under 17s  team and they had a spot available,” Lauryn said.

“They were wondering if I wanted to come and play with them.

“It is really exciting. It’s different but it doesn’t happen to everyone.”

Lauryn started playing volleyball three years ago and has represented St Pius Primary School and Emmanuel College at state level.

“Dad (Bruce) played when he was younger and so did mum (Julie) and they talked about it a lot and I just wanted to join,” she said. 

“Dad is very good at one position (setter) and I am not so good.

“I am usually a middle, so that’s lots of blocking and hitting because I am quite tall.”

Lauryn said she would travel to Melbourne regularly for training sessions with the Victorian team.

She’s already had one training session under state coach Craig Smith.

“In a couple of weeks’ time he said he was going to give us a list of what we need to work on at home,” Lauryn said.

“He has said he liked my hitting style and thought I was a good all-rounder.”

Lauryn plays state league volleyball for Heidelberg and said that competition had helped her push for state honours. 

“We go up to Melbourne every weekend to kind of increase the standard (I play),” she said.

“I play division two but there is reserves and honours which is above that.

“Hopefully I’m working my way towards that.”