Roz Gillie has been one of the top players on the Snohomish volleyball team for three years now. At 6-foot-1, the senior middle blocker constantly impacts matches on offense and defense. Last season, the All-Wesco 3A first-team pick led the Panthers in kills and blocks.
“When we’re in our system and she’s in rhythm, it’s hard to stop her,” Snohomish coach Alex Tarin said. “Many girls duck away when she hits the ball. And she surprises people with her defense. I give her free rein out there because she’s like a coach on the court.”
The Daily Herald recently spoke with Gillie about her volleyball career, off-the-court interests and future plans:
What are your goals for this season?
Our team is really strong on and off the court. I’ve been playing with some of these girls since the seventh grade. We have a connection with each other. The goal for all of us is to get to the state tournament and not just compete there, but place.
How did you start playing volleyball, and what do you love about it?
I started playing in the third grade at the (Snohomish) Boys and Girls Club, more for the social aspect. In the eighth grade, I got serious about it and started playing club. I love the game because of the team aspect. Having a group of friends to play with can’t be beat. My best friends are from volleyball.
Who has been the biggest influence on your volleyball career?
My dad (Michael). … He always talked to me about becoming a better player. When I was younger he set up a court so I could practice my serving. He was supportive, even though he wanted me to play basketball. He coached me in basketball back in the day.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome to get to where you’re at?
Last February during club season I injured my ankle and was out two months. I had to take a step back and take time to recover, which was hard. I couldn’t jump, but I was able to work on my passing. Taking things slow was the hardest part.
What are you doing when you’re not in school or playing sports?
Probably spending time with my family. I have three older sisters — one is in Australia and one is in San Francisco, so when they’re home, I cherish that time.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
Science and math. I’ve taken chemistry and biology, and this year I’ll be taking physics, forensic science and astronomy. I want to get a feel for a lot of different (science) classes.
What are your plans for next year and beyond?
This summer I took a college tour in California — Cal Tech, Cal Poly-Pomona, UC-Santa Barbara. I’m keeping (my options) wide open. I’m taking different classes this year to see what science I might want to go into. I’ll leave the door open (to play volleyball in college), but even when I was younger I knew (my college choice would be based on) academics. I would like to keep playing, though, even on a club or rec team.