GRANITE CITY - Sophomore Emily Sykes made significant contributions to the Granite City High School girls volleyball team this year and her future looks bright.

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The 5-foot-10 Emily is the Stillwater Senior Living Female Athlete of the Month for Granite City High School. She has been playing volleyball since fifth grade. She said her favorite part of volleyball is the friends she has made through the years and getting to block the ball.

"Blocking the ball is the best feeling ever!" she said. "I would also like to thank my parents for always believing in me and pushing me to be my best. My coaches, Coach Davis, Jones and Miller for working hard with me and pushing me to my full potential. My very first coach, Woody Halbrook, for teaching me everything I know and always believing in me when I didn't believe in myself. Also my club coaches, Veronica Cribbs, Abby Yurchuk and Anne Kienle for working hard with me every practice."

Rachel Davis is the head girls volleyball coach at Granite City High School.

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Emily believes the drive and work ethic my family and coaches have instilled in me has helped me get to where she is today.

"Playing volleyball in high school has made me more confident," she said. "Making varsity my freshman year made me very excited, but nervous at the same time. But my teammates helped me become more comfortable. They helped me to not get down on myself when I messed up."

Emily hopes to continue playing volleyball in college.

"I still have time to think about what college I would like to attend," she said. "I'm interested in going to college for meteorology or neurology."

The Granite City sophomore star athlete also plays basketball, is a member of the swim team, track and field squad and plays softball.

"I'm a forward in basketball, I throw shot put and discus in track and field, and in softball, I play third base and outfield," she said.

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