Watching Ivy Bush perform her high-wire act at the net during a Lewis and Clark High School volleyball game, you’d think her leaping ability was genetically inherited or from some magic formula of vitamins and hard work.
Wrong on both counts.
“You know, I have no clue,” said the Tiger senior outside hitter. “I don’t know at all. It just happened.”
The 5-foot-5 dynamo has made up for her small stature to put out big results for the Tiger volleyball team the past two seasons, being named All Greater Spokane League in each of those seasons.
With a vertical jump of more than 29 inches, Bush has been able to face down much taller opponents.
“She can jump out of the gym,” said Tiger head coach Julie Yearout. “She plays so much bigger than she is.
“The power with which she plays the game is incredible.”
Bush, who has been playing the game since she was 7, found her greatest influence in her own home.
“When my sister Shayla was playing, I would always go and watch her, and I was like, ‘Wow, I really like this game,’ ” Bush said of her older sibling. “I just loved it.
“I said no more basketball; I’m going to go all volleyball.
“Shayla was a great player. Just watching her and learning from her is just amazing. She’s just great. She knows the game really well.
“I was always learning little tips from her, and it really helped.”
The home instruction has allowed Bush to become more than just a big hitter to the Tiger team.
“I think she’s become a lot smarter in what she does as far as her all-around game,” Yearout said. “She could always hit hard.
“Now she knows what to do with it and pretty much takes control of a game.
“I think the thing about Ivy that’s most impressive to me is she probably works the hardest of anybody in the gym. Sometimes when you have those kids that are the best athletically, they tend to slack a little bit.
“She never takes a day off. … She’s more about making everybody else around her look good rather than making herself look good.”
The emphasis on team success for Lewis and Clark is foremost on Bush’s mind again this fall.
“As a team, I just hope that we all play together and just have fun because everything comes together when we have fun,” Bush said.
“We have to work hard every day in practice and have everyone buying in that we have to work hard to be the top dog (in the GSL).”
Bush hopes that a big season will land her a volleyball scholarship cross-country next year, scheduling visits to Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
“I’d love to play in college,” Bush said. “I’m going to take some visits this fall and narrow down where I want to go.
“My sister went to school at Rutgers in New Jersey, and I always loved going out to visit her, and I just love the East Coast, so I think the East Coast is the place for me.”
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