Vballrecruiter Player of the Week: Sullivan Lell

We’re proud to be a part of an ongoing partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is sponsoring our Player of the Week award. We’ll be releasing a featured Vballrecruiter.com Player of the Week, sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, on Tuesdays. Below is this week’s Player of the Week: Sullivan Lell.


There are those whose path to the volleyball is shaped and molded from a young age. For them, it’s only a matter of time before they begin club and find themselves fully immersed in the sport. Then they are players like Sullivan Lell, a 3-star L/DS from the Class of 2027.

The road she traveled was not straight. In fact, she wasn’t even sure volleyball was the sport she wanted to continue on with.

Growing up playing soccer and basketball, Lell thought she would be playing the latter long term if nothing else. She dabbled in a rec league for volleyball. Going into middle school, she kept at it playing both basketball and volleyball. Then as she was on the brink of beginning high school, it was decision time.

Basketball or volleyball?

“It was a very hard decision,” she said. “I played school basketball in eighth grade and I was asked back to the same club for AAU. I went back-and-forth on it. I played basketball for the longest time.”

In picking volleyball, she stopped playing basketball altogether. One thing she took with her from the hardwood though was her competitiveness.

“Playing basketball made me competitive,” Lell said. “I didn’t like losing. That made me very competitive and I carried that into volleyball.”

Lell joined Alabama Performance for her first club season at 12s. She opened as a libero but with one of the setters unable to play on Sundays Lell had to step in to fill that role. Although she didn’t like it as much as playing defense, it did allow her to see the game in a different way.

“It was a great learning experience,” she said. “It did help me learn how to pass better with my hands.”

Sell and her Alabama Performance 15 teammates have been practicing since November and are in preparation for the season-ending tournament at AAU nationals in a couple of weeks. A year ago, the squad took the gold medal in 14 Spirit.

“I love traveling to Orlando,” Lell said. “It’s a fun city. The energy is always high there.”

Away from volleyball Lell has recently become a wake boarding enthusiast. She hasn’t quite progressed to doing tricks but she’s working toward it.

“We actually got a boat last summer and we went almost all of summer,” she said. “It’s really fun. I want to learn how to do a 360. I’m going to get there.”

As our featured Player of the Week sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, we recently spoke with Lell about volleyball and more.

Who is a role model or someone you look up to?

Lell: Outside of volleyball I look up to my mom a lot. She’s hard working and sets a good example. Inside of volleyball I look up to my coaches. They have all helped me through the years.

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would you do and why?

Lell: I would definitely go to the lake and hang out with my family. My grandma’s house is there. I love spending time with her and to be able to surf and jet ski and stuff like that.

Do you have a favorite volleyball memory or story to share?

Lell: Last year winning our division at AAU nationals was a really cool experience with the team. We had so much fun during that time.

Do you have any volleyball superstitions or rituals and if so what?

Lell: Yes, but it’s more of a habit. When our team goes through at the net to say good luck to the other team, we always get in the same order and my teammate behind me is always my middle. We always turn around and give each other high fives before every game.

What is something that makes you laugh a lot and why?

Lell: My older sister, Elizabeth, is the funniest person ever. Whenever I’m with her I’m always laughing. We are close in age so we spend a lot of time together.

When not at a tournament, what’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?

Lell: It’s either going to the lake or staying home, sleeping in and hanging out with friends.

What is something you wish you had more time to do and why?

Lell: I really like playing pickleball. I would love to do it more and get better at it.

What is one thing that may surprise people about you?

Lell: It would be either that I do wake surfing or that I’m young for my grade. I don’t turn 15 until May 29.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be and why?

Lell: I’ve been to the Bahamas twice for spring break. It’s so pretty. If I had to pick somewhere else it would be Greece or Italy. They both seem really pretty too. But, the Bahamas is my all-time favorite vacation spot.

What is something you love learning about and why?

Lell: In school I actually take Spanish and I would love to take it all the way through high school. Being fluent would be fun and useful.

What’s your favorite number and why?

Lell: It’s definitely three. I have always loved three. Growing up my basketball number was three and it has just stuck.