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Girls volleyball spotlight: West Point-bound Myrick has Eureka … – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

STLHighSchoolSports.com is the most comprehensive source of stats, scores and stories from any and all area high schools.
Eureka’s Juliette Myrick (left) attacks against Lafayette on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, at Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Mo. Gordon Radford | Special to STLhighschoolsports.com
The Army-Navy rivalry has taken on a special meaning in the Myrick family.
Eureka High senior Juliette Myrick recently received her conditional letter of acceptance to the U.S. Military Academy, where the 6-foot standout will continue her volleyball career. While Myrick will proudly wear a Black Knights uniform, her father, Skyler, is a retired Navy officer after more than two decades of service.
“He’s now Army all the way,” Juliette joked. “I’m getting him all this Army merchandise. So he’s definitely on the right side.”
While Skyler and Juliette’s mother, Kate, are proud and support their daughter’s decision, he was reminded of the rivalry when he went with Juliette during her recruiting visit to West Point.
“There’s ‘Beat Navy’ stuff all over the place,” Skyler Myrick said. “I think their gym has weights that have ‘Beat Navy’ inscribed on them. There’s the ‘Beat Navy’ tunnel. It’s not to be missed. So certainly, within a day of getting there, you understand that it’s a bigger deal, Army-Navy.”
The Myricks also streamed Army’s volleyball match last fall at Navy.
“The fieldhouse that they’re playing in, it was standing room only, and the Navy cadets were surrounding the court,” Skyler said. “In fact, the Army server was like two feet away from the Navy Cadets or Midshipmen. That environment was like, wow, it’s a big deal all across the board.”
Juliette thrives in such pressure-packed situations.
Myrick, playing a combination setter and opposite hitter, has been a key cog for Eureka (31-3), No. 2 in the STLhighschoolsports large school rankings. Myrick is one of the Wildcats kills leaders, averaging 2.53 a set, and leads them in assists with a 4.66 average per set.
“Juliette is our backbone,” Eureka coach Jodie Fowler said. “We rely on her for consistently showing up every day and giving 100%. Every one of our players we rely on, however with ‘J’ when the backbone breaks, the other stuff that doesn’t work quite right.”
Eureka’s “backbone” got a lot stronger physically and mentally over the summer.
Keenly aware of the physical demands awaiting her, Juliette’s parents signed her up for boot camp training. She would meet with a group in Clayton for grueling early-morning workouts.
“They are definitely different from my average volleyball workouts I’ve done,” Juliette said. “We would like bear crawl up hills, run around for a long time, and the conditions didn’t matter. It would rain the day before and we have to be out there in the sopping mud and definitely be drenched from head to toe. But it was it was good. It was definitely a challenge and it’s learning curve at first, but you could see my progress just from the little time that I spent doing it.”
Skyler Myrick remembers the conversation when Juliette returned home after the first workout.
“Until you do it, you don’t really appreciate it, but I think it’s pretty eye opening,” Skyler Myrick said. “It was the hardest workout of her life I believe, or some quote like that, that she said when she got home.”
Fowler saw a difference in Myrick on the court.
“She’ll jump better, she’s got a stronger swing,” Fowler said. “She’s able to go five sets, and not that she couldn’t in the past, but it’s far more obvious now that this kid’s going the long haul.”
Harder than those workouts is the application process into the U.S. Military Academy itself.
Aside from having stellar grades and a volleyball offer, Myrick had to clear a myriad of requirements for acceptance. She had to get recommendations from lawmakers, write several essays and get several letters of recommendation from teachers, school officials and former coaches.
Juliette recently received her conditional letter of acceptance. She still has a couple of hurdles to clear, including a physical fitness evaluation.
Myrick could have taken her volleyball skills to a school with less stringent requirements, but she said the end result is worth it.
“I want to go to med school,” Juliette said. “I want to be a doctor and the opportunity that West Point gave me was just one that I cannot pass up. I feel like I would regret it the rest of my life if I didn’t take this challenge on and it’s just going to set me up for a lifetime of success.”
Fowler said Juliette is a natural leader who unanimously was voted as one of the team captains by her teammates.
“In order to be a good leader, there have to be kids that want to follow, and since her freshman, sophomore seasons, people want to follow her,” Fowler said. “She’s our floor captain. I believe she’s a captain for her club team as well. It is definitely a leadership thing.”
While her future is exciting, Myrick is focused on the present, specifically on leading the Wildcats back to state.
The road isn’t easy. Eureka is in arguably the state’s toughest district with arch-rival Lafayette, a tough Marquette team and defending state champion Cor Jesu rounding out the tournament’s top four seeds.
Eureka, the district’s top seed, recently had its 23-match winning streak snapped over the weekend with a pair of losses in the Ozark Tournament. One of those losses came to Lafayette, the No. 2 seed, whom the Wildcats swept earlier this season.
“It definitely showed us that they have gotten better since September, and we obviously have too,” Juliette said. “We definitely need to up our intensity in practice this week.”
STLHighSchoolSports.com is the most comprehensive source of stats, scores and stories from any and all area high schools.
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Eureka’s Juliette Myrick (left) attacks against Lafayette on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, at Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Mo. Gordon Radford | Special to STLhighschoolsports.com
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