Leesburg, Va. — Heritage High School senior setter Julia Gleason has committed to Christopher Newport University to continue her academic and athletic pursuits starting in the 2019-2020 school year.
Gleason will head to a Division III Captains volleyball team that just won its third straight Capital Athletic Conference tournament. The 5-foot-8 setter looks to use her versatility to her advantage to add to a strong CNU team.
“I am very dedicated to the sport and will do whatever is asked of me to help the team,” Gleason said. “I’m hoping to come to CNU and be an impact player.”
In her final high school season before heading to Newport News, Gleason helped Heritage to a 15-8 record, including a 9-3 mark in the Dulles District.
“The Heritage volleyball program has been extremely lucky to have Walter Collazo as the head varsity coach,” said Gleason, who was named first team All-Dulles District in 2019. “Coach Walter has always pushed me to be the best I can be. He has taught me so much about the sport and has supported my journey over the past three years.”
In addition to playing at Heritage, Gleason competes for the Virginia Elite volleyball club and says her experience with Elite played a big role in her progression as a player.
“The coaches at Elite have put countless hours into helping me become a better player and fine-tuning my skills,” Gleason said. “If I didn’t play at Virginia Elite, I don’t think I would be at the level I am today.”
The grind for senior players can often be challenging, but Gleason’s love for the game has kept her on track.
“Everytime I walk onto the court I forget about everything going on outside of the gym and focus on volleyball and how to get better that day,” Gleason said.. “What has kept me motivated over the years is my passion for the game. I love everything about volleyball and all it has to offer.”
In spite of all the challenges a senior year can bring, Gleason credits her mom for also keeping her motivated through her senior season and near decade of playing volleyball.
“My mom is the one person who has been my rock through all the craziness of volleyball for the past eight years,” Gleason said. said Gleason. “My mom and I used to go outside and mess around with the ball, and she was the one who taught me the basics. After a year or so she finally signed me up for some clinics and the rest is history.”