UNTIL last year, Lacey Bruce was not convinced she could actually play volleyball.
But at 18 years of age, Lacey has returned a sensation after being a member of the NSW under 23 women’s team that won a gold medal at the Minto State Cup.
Playing in the honours division, the NSW team went through the tournament undefeated to take gold.
It was a big thrill for Lacey to be a part of a winning team and she also enjoyed the opportunity to play alongside some quality players.
She had another taste of what it is like to play at the top level when she was invited to play as a visitor for the Sydney Hills Dragons open women’s team at the Newcastle State Cup earlier this month.
After helping them to win a gold medal in the honours division, Lacey has since been asked to join as a full member of the team to play at the upcoming Illawarra State Cup and the State Volleyball League (SVL) in the A division.
While she had been playing locally for a couple of years, it was only when she was selected in the NSW under 19s team last year that she started to take the sport seriously.
“I was a bit apprehensive at first, but then when I got picked, I thought wow, I can actually play,” she said.
Since then, her volleyball career has gone from strength to strength, with more and more impressive achievements added to her resume.
Lacey now travels to Sydney most weekends for coaching and training with the state team between March and July and the SVL is at Homebush every weekend between June and December.
She said she was excited at the prospect of playing in Sydney and is hoping it will help to further develop her skills in the sport.
“Moving to play in Sydney will be more beneficial, because it will give me an idea of what to expect when I’m playing at a higher level,” she said.
“I’m the youngest in the team, but there are a lot of very experienced players in there, so I want to learn as much from them as I can,” she added.
Since completing her HSC at Bomaderry High School last year, Lacey is doing her certificate III and IV in anthropology, via distance education.
While this is definitely keeping her busy, she said it hasn’t been too difficult to find the time for volleyball.
One of her next assignments is a trip to Canberra in July for one week to play at Nationals with the NSW under 19s, which will be held at the AIS.
Lacey was a member of the squad, which finished in fifth last year, but she thinks there is plenty of room for improvement this time.
“Last year we were a lot less experienced, but now, I think everyone has played at that level before, so I think we’ll do better.”