Lewullis part of freshman invasion

The Miami volleyball team has a solid foundation laid out for the next few years, and at the center of their future plans is freshman middle blocker/outside hitter Robin Lewullis.

Lewullis has already made an impact on the court this season, serving as one of the main blockers up front and scrapping for loose balls. While her role on the court is very important, Lewullis feels the team would not be having as successful of a season if everyone weren’t clicking on all cylinders.

“Everyone’s role is critical to winning matches,” Lewullis said. “If one person isn’t doing their part then the whole team suffers.”

Most freshmen have trouble breaking into the lineup and some are even red shirted. Lewullis, however, has had no problem becoming a key contributor for the 19-3 (6-2) Hurricanes.

“At first it was a little intimidating,” Lewullis said. “Once we started practicing, though, we [the younger players] built up confidence and began to mesh as a team.”

Growing up in Allentown, PA, Lewullis starred in both volleyball and basketball for Central Catholic High School. As a senior she led her team to a state championship and was a first team all-state selection.

The reason why Lewullis has seemed so composed out there on the court is that she has a family with a history of success in college athletics. Her brother, Gabe, starred for Princeton’s basketball team from 1995 through 1999 and was known for making the winning shot in the 1996 NCAA Tournament to upset UCLA, the defending champion at the time.

Lewullis feels that her brother’s experience in college athletics has helped her prepare for a busy schedule and some of the other pressures that come with being a student-athlete.

“Gabe has always been an inspiration to me,” Lewullis said. “I talk to him every other day and he always gives me advice. He is in his second year of medical school but he still plays basketball when he gets the chance. He is very helpful to me.”

As for this year’s squad, Lewullis feels that if they are able to finish out the season winning their last six games then they have a chance to make some noise in the postseason.

“The Big East is very tight this year,” Lewullis said. “If we can win out then we have a very good shot to win the conference and go deep in the NCAAs.”

Lewullis points to St. John’s as the ‘Canes’ toughest opponent in the near future, but refuses to take any other teams lightly.

“St. John’s just beat Georgetown, so they have a lot of momentum,” Lewullis said. “But every game is important and we can’t underestimate any team in the Big East.”

Lewullis indicates that the team has a very bright future ahead and will continue to get better and better as time goes on.

“We have plenty of time to grow and develop as a team,” Lewullis said. “We all have at least two more years together, so we will keep on improving and gaining experience.”

Given her family history, it would be safe to say that Robin Lewullis will have a very successful career at UM. With Lewullis leading the way, it is also safe to bet that the Hurricane volleyball team will become a perennial powerhouse in the Big East.

You can reach Eric Kalis at elk777bc@hotmail.com.