Julia Bishop gives Farmington Hills Mercy second straight Miss Volleyball trophy
Julia Bishop was taking a nap Sunday afternoon after enjoying a long day of deer hunting.
Bishop, Farmington Hills Mercy’s standout setter, thought it was odd she heard the voice of her volleyball coach, Loretta Vogel, in her living room.
So, Bishop got up to make Vogel feel at home and see why she came to visit. Vogel had a letter for Bishop, informing her that she had won the prestigious title of Miss Volleyball in Michigan.
“It’s such a great thing to be mentioned with the names who won it over the years, so many high-level girls, and really it’s a great honor to be just nominated, let alone win it,” said Bishop, who will play next year at Michigan State. “Obviously, I owe it all to my team because as a setter there’s only so much you can do. I can’t do anything without a pass, and I don’t look good without a good hitter that can put a ball down.
“I feel like it wasn’t really a Miss Volleyball for me; it’s more of a Miss Volleyball for the team. They make me look good and do all the work behind the scenes.”
Mercy now has two Miss Volleyball winners in as many years with Jess Mruzik winning the honor last year.
“It shows just the culture that was built at Mercy, the Mercy athletic program, they mean business there, and it’s amazing to know that we had that much of an impact on the program,” said Bishop, who finished third among the state's career leaders in assists with 5,575.
“Loretta (Vogel) and Andrew (co-coach Thompson) and all of our coaches have done so much behind the scenes work to nominate and get our names out there. It’s great to know that Loretta cares about us that much, not only as athletes but people. She’s taught me so much, life lessons, not just volleyball.”
Mercy won the Division 1 state championship last year, then advanced to the regional final this season, losing to Catholic League rival Birmingham Marian to finish 34-2.
During Vogel’s visit to Bishop’s home, the coach brought along some of Bishop’s teammates.
“I came outside from my house and my whole team was lined up like in a car parade,” Bishop said. “They were out there with posters and things and everyone was crying. It was so special, just so moving because it was so personal.”
Bishop accepted the Miss Volleyball trophy outside of Mercy High School on Monday afternoon with her teammates, coaches and her parents, Barb and Mike Bishop, looking on.
Bishop won the award with 227 points in voting by Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association members, with Jenna Reitsma of Lowell finishing second (192), followed by Addie Vanderweide of Grand Rapids Christian (123), Mikayla Haut of Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (112), Sydney Palazzolo of Utica Eisenhower (109), Callie Mae Bauer of Hudson (74), Aubrey O’Gorman of Lakewood (69), Abby Olin of Coopersville (51), Charli Atiemo of Mercy (49) and Anna Smith of Mendon (42).