Lewullis emerging as key contributor for ‘Canes

Sophomore outside hitter Robin Lewullis has not been fazed by the volleyball team’s success the past two seasons. With her accomplished background in the sport, she is quite used to it.

Growing up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Lewullis attended Allentown Central Catholic where she lettered in volleyball all four years of high school and helped her team win the state championship in her senior year.

Lewullis’ prominence came largely from Synergy, a club team based in the Philadelphia area that she played for during the second half of her high school career.

“I played for a club team prior to that around my hometown but it wasn’t as serious [as Synergy],” Lewullis said. “In Synergy, we traveled to California and Las Vegas tournaments. Pennsylvania isn’t the biggest volleyball state in the northeast, but when you get to go to the west coast, volleyball there is so much different and quicker-paced, and Synergy definitely took my game up so many levels just because you’re playing much better girls.”

Lewullis first took up volleyball in sixth grade. She contends that simply being interested in all sports led her to try the sport.

“I come from a very basketball-oriented family where no one has ever played volleyball,” she said. “I [tried] every sport when I was little.”

Lewullis’ greatest inspiration to continue on the volleyball path came from her brother, Gabe, a basketball player for Princeton from 1995-1999.

“My brother played basketball in high school and college. He inspired me to come here and work on academics,” Lewullis said. “He helped me decide that I wanted to actually play a sport in college, and do the whole student-athlete thing. He handled academics, athletics, and the stress of both well.”

Choosing UM came easy to Lewullis. Her initial visit to the school made a lasting impression, and no other program measured up.

“I came here first, and every other school I just compared to here,” she said. “I loved it here. I loved the girls on the team, the coaches, obviously I loved the weather, and it had some majors that I was interested in. It was just a variety of things.”

The fact that the program had only been resurrected a year before Lewullis started made her even more excited at the possibility of becoming a Hurricane.

“It was kind of exciting coming to a new program after just one year, and I knew this program would grow fast just because of its location,” Lewullis said.

Lewullis is majoring in Health Science and Business Administration, a combination likely to result in a healthcare management job. However, she prefers to focus on what she is trying to accomplish while at school and worry about her professional life when the time comes.

“I want to find something that I’m happy doing, and that’s so hard to do, to find something that you love after college,” Lewullis said. “How I’ll do that I don’t know yet.”

As the team approaches the heart of the conference schedule, Lewullis looks to her fun-loving teammates to carry her through the tough stretch.

“We’re around each other all the time; these girls are like my sisters,” she said. “And the coaches, you could go to them with anything. They’re almost like your parents because that’s how they treat you…the team unity is definitely there.”

When she’s involved in the game, not much more than blocking, hitting, and watching the ball are on Lewullis’ mind.

“[But] when you take a look and stand back, you’re just like ‘wow, I’m playing volleyball at University of Miami in front of all these people,'” she said. “There are so many people that would die to be in my position. It’s great to hear all our fans, and to use that energy out on the court.”