Gillerlain invited for AVCA college prep

Published 8:56 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What senior Brooks Gillerlain did this year as a setter for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s state champion girls’ volleyball team apparently did not go unnoticed by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

She received an invite on Nov. 18 to be a participant in the 2014 AVCA Phenom College Preparatory Program that takes place in Oklahoma City, Okla., this coming weekend.

“I really think it’s an incredible opportunity,” Gillerlain said.

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The program will give her exposure to more than 100 college coaches who will have the chance to evaluate her ability, and she will get the chance to interact with, learn from and watch top college players.

However, it is unknown exactly what led to her receiving the emailed invitation from AVCA headquarters.

Concerning the program, Gillerlain said, “I didn’t really know anything about it.”

Former Lady Saint Kaitlin Werner participated in the program last year, and it was her Williamsburg Volleyball Club coaches that nominated her for consideration.

Gillerlain is not currently playing for a club team, and Lady Saints coach Robyn Ross is not an AVCA member.

But Ross was excited for Gillerlain because her achievements on the court spoke for her to someone.

“Somebody saw her somewhere and saw stats somewhere, I guess on MaxPreps, and thought she deserved a chance to go there,” the coach said. is a site that Ross uses in which high school coaches from across the nation can post statistics, rosters, schedules and other information for their teams in a variety of sports.

The site also allows for comparison between players’ statistics. Across all levels of Virginia public and private school players whose schools enter player stats on the site, Gillerlain ranks third in assists with 923 and fourth in assists per set with an average of 10.6.

Of the different opportunities awaiting her in Oklahoma on Dec. 18-21, Gillerlain said, “I’m really excited to go to the (NCAA Division I) championship.”

Program participants will have tickets to both the D1 national championship and the Under Armour All-America High School Volleyball Match.

Players in the program will undergo physical testing that will result in a validated measure of their potential — a Volleyball Performance Index score. They will also help create their own Athlete Behavioral Profile after taking a learning-style assessment.

Gillerlain is currently uncertain about her future in volleyball.

“It’s been part of my life since seventh grade,” she said, and while it has not really gotten old, because she still loves playing it, she is also ready for “something new, a little different.”

“It would be really cool to play D1. I don’t know, I’d just rather play D2 or D3,” she said.

She expects her experience with the AVCA Phenom College Preparatory Program to have a major impact.

“I think this weekend will decide if I continue to play volleyball or not,” she said.

Through the program, Ross said she hopes Gillerlain will see that despite her lack of height, she compares well to the other setters in the nation. But the coach also does not want volleyball to be the primary focus of Gillerlain or any of her players considering college options.

“I want them to focus on the education piece and play volleyball if they want to,” she said.