Fort Dale Academy senior Lily Van Dyke signs with Huntingdon College

Published 6:00 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Fort Dale Academy senior volleyball standout Lily Van Dyke signed an academic scholarship to attend Huntingdon College, where she will play volleyball for the Hawks, during a signing ceremony held in the academy’s gymnasium Friday.

Van Dyke addressed the audience of over 150 students, faculty members, family, and friends who stopped by to celebrate her achievement.

“I want to take this time to thank my coaches and teammates over the past six years,” Van Dyke said. “They have helped me to become the teammate and athlete that I am today. I look forward to attending Huntingdon College and playing for the Huntingdon volleyball team. Thank you, Fort Dale family, for your support in my academic and athletic career.”

Email newsletter signup

Fort Dale Academy Headmaster David Sikes spoke to the crowd prior to Van Dyke’s speech and signing.

‘“We look forward to what the future holds for her,” Sikes said. “At this time, we want to celebrate her.”

A multi-sport athlete who also boasts straight-As, Van Dyke said Huntingdon College was the only school she had interest in attending.

“I went to multiple camps there, and they went through their workout program with us,” Van Dyke said. “Just the way they set up their schooling, their classes, and stuff, I really like the way that it was all set up.”

During her final season with Fort Dale, Van Dyke, her teammates, and first-year head coach Brianne Broadway guided their team to a 9-12 record in a season where Fort Dale reached the Alabama Independent School Association’s state semifinals.

The first player in school history to be selected to the AISA All-Tournament volleyball team, Van Dyke ended her campaign with 140 kills, 45 blocks, and 40 aces.

‘Lily is a fantastic player,” Broadway said. “She is a leader. Leadership really stands out with her. She’s a leader on and off the court. She picks her teammates up, and she’s a fighter. She doesn’t quit. We’re going to be losing a lot by losing her. She’s the glue to the team.”

Van Dyke said she’ll miss the way her teams jelled during her time there and added the chemistry played a role in the team’s successes in the 2022 season.

“It means a lot that all of us came together through all the years that we had,” Van Dyke said. “We did it all by ourselves most years, and that we all did it together and made school history together.”

She credited Broadway for helping her make improvements to her game in their lone season together.

“She (Broadway) taught me a lot about the fundamentals of volleyball – things all volleyball players have to pretty much perfect to play at the next level, and she really helped me understand the game because it’s a very hard, complicated game to understand,” Van Dyke said. “You have to understand it to be able to play it well, so I would thank her for that.”

Van Dyke played outside hitter for Fort Dale, but she said she anticipates a move to the front row. She added her coaches and she had not yet discussed where she would be used on the court.

She said she was leaning toward studying sports medicine at Huntingdon.

“I just love sports,” Van Dyke said. “Sports have been a big part of my life, and I would like to keep a job that is related to sports and help athletes that are injured to heal and get back in ther sport.”