Watching her older brother play volleyball piqued an interest in the game for Shannon Scully. But it was taking a chance with a friend that solidified her love for the sport.
“One of my best friends that I had played soccer with for many years, we just decided to play in a beach volleyball tournament for fun, and we did really well,” says Scully. “So I tried out for the school volleyball team. I’ve just loved volleyball ever since.”
A senior at Mater Dei High School, Scully plays outside hitter for the Monarchs, a position she enjoys for its versatility and involvement in both the offensive and defensive aspects of the game.
But where the four-year varsity player has made her mark is as team captain, a position she has held both as a junior and a senior.
“Being a junior captain, I really had to step up into the role, and it was something I really enjoyed,” says Scully. “I would say I lead by example, but also I want to get the job done. So if something is wrong, I always try to fix it to make it better.”
Mater Dei girls volleyball varsity head coach, Dan O’Dell, sees how Scully uses her captaincy to impact her team daily.
“Shannon is as good a volleyball player as she is a person and team leader,” says O’Dell. “She always maintains her calm and composure on the court, which has led to her having her best matches in the biggest moments. Her tremendous all-around talent creates a confidence among those around her, which elevates everyone’s game.”
The 17-year-old admits to being challenged when it comes to staying positive while playing, but has learned to believe in the process, trust her teammates and never give up.
“I take away leadership and teamwork and how to work with others,” says Scully of her years playing volleyball. “Not playing a sport, it wouldn’t have taught me what I can do.”
Scully’s leadership abilities extend beyond the court, as she is active in serving her campus community through ASB, Campus Ministry and Special Games Outreach.
After graduation, the Huntington Beach resident is committed to play Division I volleyball for the University of Utah, with plans to study either business management, marketing or physical therapy.
With so many lifetime memories made alongside her Monarch teammates, including winning the 2015 CIF Southern Section Division 1AA Championship, Scully feels blessed to have had such a special high school experience.
“I really like how close the whole Mater Dei community is,” says Scully. “We always pray before the games to thank God for what we have and to be grateful for all the opportunities he’s given us. That’s just made our team a lot closer. I think that knowing that no matter the outcome, if we work hard, the outcome should be good because God’s on our side.”