A Former Minnesota High School Volleyball Star Continues to Chase Her Dream
A former Minnesota Volleyball standout is going to continue her collegiate volleyball career and be able to pursue her master's degree.
Elizabeth Helmich, who is originally from Plymouth Minnesota, has spent the last 4 years at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Virginia and she’ll now be moving four hours to the East in Virginia to Lynchburg to play for the Liberty Flames. Helmich made the announcement on her X/Twitter account on Sunday.
She was on the Dean’s list her entire career at JMU as well as an Athletic Director Scholar Athlete and was on the Coastal Athletic Association Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll and the Sunbelt Conference Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll.
I worked in Harrisonburg for 7 years, and broadcast JMU Football and Men’s Basketball during that time. I also hosted a locally/regionally focused sports radio show there and interviewed Coach Lauren Steinbrecher quite a few times.
Coach Steinbrecher told me in a text “Elizabeth has been a joy to have in our program. She is one of the most consistent players I have coached in terms of work ethic, attitude, and competitive excellence. She has always been fearless, and I knew it from the beginning when she was willing to leave home in Minnesota to do something special in Virginia. Her excellence on the court matches her excellence and talent in the classroom, as well. The future is very bright for her in “Sports Marketing and Media”, and I can’t wait to see what all she does with it. Liberty is getting a good one”.
During her time with “The Dukes”, Elizabeth Helmich was a standout on the court with 436 kills for the offense and on the defensive side of things, she produced 205 digs.
She was also a part of the move up to the Sun Belt Conference which expanded the Conference travel dramatically, going from playing around the Mid-Atlantic Regional of the C-A-A to traveling to Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and West Virginia. JMU has regularly faced some of the top teams in college volleyball in their non-conference season, so they have often traveled to face them on their home courts.
There was also a move into a new facility during Helmich’s time with “The Dukes”. JMU repurposed their former basketball arena to an updated volleyball venue, which may help attract more players from places as far away as Minnesota.
The decision to go east to play in college was a good decision athletically for Helmich, who won a conference championship, played for another, and went to the NCAA Tournament twice.
The opportunity to transfer and pursue her master's degree while still playing volleyball at the Division One level was too good to turn down.
According to her bio at JMUSports.com, Elizabeth’s brother Jack is a pole vaulter at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Virginia about an hour and forty-five minutes from Harrisonburg.
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