METAMORA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Mia Querciagrossa is a big part of the Mid-Illini champion Metamora volleyball team.

Even if some people are just realizing it.

“I think it’s awesome that I get to be in this spot,” said Querciagrossa. “I am able to push through a lot of team’s blocks. It’s unexpected and throws them off a little bit.”

The 5-11 senior has helped Metamora to a Mid-Illini Conference title after an unbeaten league season. The Redbirds play Dunlap in Tuesday’s regional opener at Toepke Gym.

“She’s played very well for us,” said Metamora volleyball coach Tara Ballard. “I think she’s a secret weapon because people don’t know about here. She comes and crushes it.”

Even Querciagrossa has to admit she’s pleasantly surprised with the way things have played out at Metamora. She’s overcome two major surgeries and worked her way into the Redbirds starting lineup.

She tore the ACL in her right knee in eighth grade at a club volleyball tournament. And she missed most of her sophomore year recovering from a torn ACL in her right knee, suffered during the club seaosn.

But she says the process of working her way back has made her a better player.

“You learn so much going through things this hard. It’s given me a lot of wisdom. I don’t take things for granted,” said Querciagrossa. “My knees are the biggest reason I’ve been thankful for everything and want to play every day.”

She’s healthy and having fun for a team that spent a chunk of the season ranked No.1 in the state in class 3A. Not only is she Metamora’s ‘secret weapon.’ but she was voted Metamora’s Homecoming Queen a few weeks ago.

It’s all adding up to be a memorable final year of high school for Querciagrossa.

“Homecoming week was so fun. That’s one of the best weeks of the year,” she said. “And being on this team is unreal, like nothing else I’ve ever been on before. I don’t go through anything like this ever again. I’m so thankful I’m getting this experience.”