AUSTRALIAN Volleyroo Luke Perry returned to his roots with a visit to Aquinas College earlier this month.
Aquinas has produced three of the four West Australian Volleyroos players including Perry, Luke Smith and Samuel Walker.
Captain Griffin Bateman said the legacy of having three Volleyroos hail from the school was both an inspiration and a slight burden.
“You want to live up to the hype, people talk about the quality of previous Aquinas teams and it is a pretty big legacy to match,” he said.
“So you always start the season with a lot of expectation, especially as the 2017 PSA Champions we came into the 2018 season as the one to beat.”
Captain Samuel Hoskin said it was rewarding to be able to live up to the reputation set by Perry.
“Griffin and I’ve been part of Aquinas’ volleyball program since year 7 and to be leading the team now has been pretty awesome,” he said.
“This year we dropped one set over the whole season but we won back to back PSA titles.”
Perry said being successful at Aquinas drove him to become a better player and apply himself to higher levels in the sport.
“I started volleyball in year 9 at Aquinas,” he said.
“My older brother played volleyball and he went on these trips to Melbourne for the Schools Cup at the end of the year so I decided to give (it a) try.”
While at Aquinas, Perry competed in numerous Australian School Cups from 2009- 2012.
He made his first state team in Under 17’s in 2011 and the Under 19’s state team in 2012 competing in Adelaide and Melbourne respectively.
“It was a pretty fast turnaround from Aquinas to Volleyroos, once I started full time at the [Australian Institute of Sport] in 2013 I started playing for the national team,” Perry said.
“I was thrown in the deep end in some ways, but I enjoyed that and learnt a lot quickly.
“Being successful at Aquinas taught me to not put a ceiling on my goals.
“It was a real eye opener, learning the game at Aquinas with tournaments like Schools Cup, you had to learn quickly given the amount of games you played.”
Since then Perry has represented Australia in 154 games, most recently at the inaugural Volleyball Nations League.