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Unionville's Maddy Lowe Named Volleyball Player of the Year

As featured on PA Prep Live: 

Photo by Pete Bannan - Daily Local News

East Marlborough >> Unionville senior outside hitter and captain Maddy Lowe, the Daily Local News Girls Volleyball Player of the Year, is the only player in the distinguished history of the Longhorns volleyball program to receive all-state honors three times.

“Maddy has had a tremendous impact on the Unionville volleyball program during her four years,” said Longhorns head coach Stephanie Smith. “She played well under pressure and was trusted to score big points when the game was on the line. A large part of our program’s success over the past few seasons is due to her volleyball skills and leadership.”

Smith thinks Lowe has been an outstanding leader for the perennially powerful Longhorns. Over the course of Lowe’s career, the Longhorns have posted a record of 80-10. This past fall, Unionville did not lose a game until the PIAA District 1 4A championship finals.

“Maddy was often seen encouraging players on and off the court and showed pride in her teammates’ accomplishments,” said Smith. “After a match, Maddy would selflessly come up to me and point out who had a great match. She would also comment on how the team played for each other, not themselves.”

This past fall, Lowe collected 251 kills, 65 aces, 202 digs and 20 blocks, receiving All-District 1 honors for the third consecutive year as the Longhorns (22-2) advanced to the PIAA 4A quarterfinals. Unionville’s only two losses this season were to state semifinalists Garnet Valley (in the District 1 4A final) and Pine Richland (in the state quarterfinal).

Lowe’s favorite memories of the just-completed 2022 volleyball season involve the spirit of the Longhorn players and fans.

“My favorite memories of the 2022 season were dance parties in the locker room before matches and listening to our student section cheer at games,” said Lowe. “They even filled up a party bus and drove the hour to district finals to support us!”

Lowe served as captain of this spirited bunch of Longhorns.

“I viewed my role as a captain as being someone anybody could talk to, and communicating between players and coaches,” said Lowe. “This year I worked hard on vocalizing loud on the court to celebrate and encourage everyone, as well as focusing on the success of the team as a whole rather than myself. It’s also important to make sure as a team we are supporting not only each other, but also our coaches and refs who dedicate their time so we can play.”

The spring and summer before the 2022 season, Lowe worked hard on her serve receive, and currently (she also plays club volleyball for East Coast Power) she’s working on improving her blocking. Her favorite volleyball role model is her older sister Alli, who played for Unionville and Colgate University.

“Alli started playing volleyball when I was in first grade and I would travel to all of her tournaments to watch her play,” said Lowe. “I fell in love with the sport and couldn’t wait for my turn to play. I started playing club volleyball at age 12 with East Coast Power as an outside hitter and stuck with that same position.

“Alli is definitely my biggest volleyball mentor, and she taught me the importance of shaking off my mistake and learning from them to improve the next point.”

Lowe wore uniform jersey No. 17 for Unionville because that was Alli’s number.

While the Longhorns have been a perennial contender for the state title, the closest they came during Lowe’s time was in 2020, when they advanced to the state final against North Allegheny.

“We began that season not knowing if we would even have a chance to play (due to the COVID pandemic), and were able to make it all the way to state finals,” said Lowe. “That year our team was really strong, looking back it’s amazing to think how far we made it, but in the moment I was confident in our ability to continue on. I also remember being super grateful for the opportunity to play (that year) as well as the support we received along the way from coaches, parents, and friends.”

Lowe, who is a morning person, usually watches some volleyball game film early on the day of a contest, then as it gets closer to game time she tries to visualize herself on the volleyball court.

“I like to imagine myself playing to get my mind ready to go,” said Lowe. “I love hanging with the team before the match, so we typically get to the school early to eat dinner together. Right before playing, listening to music helps get me pumped up to play, and setting a few goals for myself going into the game allows me to stay focused and play my role on the court.”

Lowe, who also swam as a freshman and sophomore, currently participates in UTHON, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Life at Unionville. Her favorite course at Unionville is biology and she’s hoping to pursue neuroscience on the pre-med track in college.

“I’m so proud of the leader, student, and athlete Maddy has become,” said Smith. “Although we are happy for Maddy to move on to her next chapter, the Unionville volleyball program, especially me, will sincerely miss her presence in the gym next year.”