For the second consecutive year, the junior outside hitter was a first team All-Central League selection, a first team All-Main Line pick and the Pioneers’ Most Valuable Player. This past fall, she led Conestoga in kills (138) and aces (28), was second in blocks (12) and third in digs. Off the volleyball court at Conestoga, Caldwell is a member of the National Honor Society, FLITE (Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown) and REACH (Responsible, Educated Adolescents Can Help).
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you currently working on the most?
A: I believe one of my biggest strengths is dedication to the game. I am constantly giving 100 percent effort and always working to not only improve my skills, but that of the whole team. Right now I am focusing on bettering my ball control and hitting efficiency.
Q: What have you found to be the biggest challenge to your training during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how did you handle that?
A: At the start of the pandemic, the biggest challenge was keeping my skills up without being in the gym. Volleyball is a team sport and passing/hitting against my bounce back only gets me so far. Over the summer, I started playing beach and grass volleyball with some teammates; and my club coach, Steve Lieber, helped us train outdoors. We put a net in my backyard and just made the most of the situation. I wanted to be in good shape and prepared to enter the fall high school season a stronger player than I was last year.
Q: Have you always been an outside hitter? What sparked your original interest in volleyball? Who have been your biggest volleyball mentors?
A: For as long as I can remember I have been an outside hitter. I used to live in Kentucky, and because we knew the head volleyball coach at University of Kentucky, my family and I would go to all the games and I idolize that team. When we moved to Pennsylvania, I saw the opportunity to start playing volleyball in the Conestoga Kahoots program and I couldn’t pass up that chance! I have been so fortunate to have had amazing club coaches who have helped me develop into the player I am today. But, I have learned so much from my high school coach, Diana Felker, and she is and will always be one of the best coaches I will ever have. This was my third season playing for her and she always pushes me to be the best player I can be.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation on the day of a game.
A: The day of a game, I always make sure I eat healthy and drink enough water so I can be energized to play the whole game. I usually drive to games with a teammate or with my dad, and we listen to throwback songs to get pumped and excited to play.
Q: What is your favorite course at Conestoga? What do you think you’d like to major in at college? Is there a career path that particularly appeals to you?
A: My favorite course at Conestoga is either Pre-Calculus or AP US Government and Politics. Taking a government class during a presidential election year has been very beneficial and thought-provoking. At the moment, I plan to major in economics and/or international relations in college. Regarding career paths, I want to have a job that involves a lot of global travel.
Fun Facts – Lillian Caldwell
Favorite book: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.
Favorite author: Harper Lee.
Favorite TV Show: Saturday Night Live.
Favorite movie: Anything with Chevy Chase.
Favorite athlete: Russell Wilson.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyes Peas.
Favorite team: University of Kentucky volleyball.
Favorite place to visit: Lake George, N.Y.
Favorite pre-game meal: Toasted bagel with peanut butter.
Person I most admire and why: “The person I most admire is my dad. I admire his work ethic and he is a very kind and supportive person. I hope to be just like him when I am an adult.”
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)
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