Elissa Moylan, a three-year varsity player, had her most productive season in a Spartan jersey this fall. She led the Mississippi Athletic Conference with 323 kills (3.67 per set) and did so with a .322 hitting efficiency. The 6-foot-2 middle also unleashed 41 aces and compiled 46 blocks.
She was named the MAC player of the year, a selection to the IGCA Senior All-Star match and a Class 5A second team all-state choice by the coaches.
"It is crazy to see myself from my freshman year, where I wasn't that great of a player, to now," Moylan said. "It was cool to see that transformation, and have such a good season this year and the friends I met."
Pleasant Valley won a share of the MAC title and came oh-so close to reaching the state tournament. The Spartans (28-5) ended Bettendorf's 42-match win streak in conference play.
"We were looking forward to that game the whole season," Moylan said. "Even though we shared (the MAC), we still beat them. That was a big deal for us."
PV's season ended with an epic, five-set regional final loss to Urbandale, a match Moylan still thinks about each day. She had 22 kills and three blocks. Moylan had a season-high 24 kills and hit .353 in a five-set win over North Scott.
From the ice to the gym
Moylan did not take to volleyball until her freshman season. Prior to that, she was into competitive figure skating. She went from the glitz and glamour of costumes and makeup to knee pads and plenty of sweat.
Moylan still skates frequently, often with friends at the River's Edge or in the winter months at a rink near Splash Landing in Bettendorf. Volleyball, though, eventually turned into her love.
"I really didn't like volleyball at first," she said. "Skating is such an individual sport. If you fall on a jump, it is on you. Volleyball is such a team sport. It is very different, but I fell in love with it and I loved being part of a team."
Moylan credits freshman coach Erin Ahnquist for her development.
"She really believed in me my freshman year and made me believe in myself," Moylan said.
Before her junior season, Moylan committed to Division I Southeast Missouri State. She signed a national letter of intent earlier this month with the Ohio Valley Conference program.
"I'm really excited for this summer," Moylan said. "Me being a freshman again, there is no guarantee I'll play. I want to go in there and show them I can play with them."
The postseason accolades and senior season has given Moylan added confidence she can contribute at the next level. She also knows many of the players she'll be competing with earned those same accolades in high school.
"College is a whole new beginning to show who you are, why you're here and why you should play," she said.
— Matt Coss