With Stressful Recruiting Over, Lily Barry Focusing On State Volleyball Title

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — She might be the only teenager in central Illinois who is glad the school year has started.

Because it was a stressful summer for U-High volleyball star Lily Barry.

“At one point I was so stressed out, I shut my phone off be cause I didn’t know what to do,” Barry said. “June 15 was the first day they could contact me. I woke up with 100 text messages.”

She’s talking about college recruiters. The highly-recruited junior was being courted by Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Stanford, and Florida, among others.

Some of those schools have been interested in Barry for years.

“I would say my first year of recruiting was seventh grade,” said Barry, who plays her club volleyball with Illini Elite. “After that it never slowed down.”

It didn’t slow down. As a freshman, Barry started on U-High’s fourth place state finisher and played in front of plenty of college coaches.

“They couldn’t communicate with her at that time. But they were in our gym, paying attention, doing their due diligence,” said U-High coach Mike Bolhuis. “We were aware they were paying attention to her early on.”

Late in the summer, she ended her recruitment by choosing Illinois.

And now that she has all that recruiting behind her, Barry is relieved and excited to be concentrating on her very good high school volleyball team.

“Right now, it’s high school season and my goal is to win a state championship with this team now,” Barry said. “That’s my main focus. Now it’s time not only for me, but for (my teammates). They deserve it just as much as I do.”

The big decision is behind her. Now Lily Barry is ready to focus on a big season of high school volleyball.

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