It's Your Story, We Just Tell It.

Mehlville Media

It's Your Story, We Just Tell It.

Mehlville Media

It's Your Story, We Just Tell It.

Mehlville Media

Ian Iliff Succeeds on the Court

Photo by Shanon Robinson
Iliff prepares to receive a ball from the other team.

Ian Iliff is a Junior who started his volleyball career only a few years ago, but his mentality is set high. Iliff first made his volleyball debut freshman year starting on junior varsity. Since then, he has had two years of experience playing on High-Performance Volleyball and two years on Mehlville’s varsity team. Iliff is mainly an outside hitter with some experience with other positions. He first started playing volleyball his freshman year, his main inspiration being that his older siblings both play competitive volleyball. His number, 24, combines both of his sibling’s numbers to pay respect to them on the court. His height gives him an overall advantage on the court, but the rest of his skills were earned shortly after starting.

“Ever since it’s been a part of my life and it’s been something that keeps me up,” Iliff said. 

Iliff is known for wearing bright-colored shoes on the court, which makes him stand out from others on his team. This style matches his personality as well, as he is often described as a ball of energy on the court. When asked about his biggest mental blocks while playing, he recalls moments when he makes a mistake and feels like he “shuts down.” Having experienced this before, Iliff has learned that you have to keep pushing through and moving forward, even if the outlook might not be favorable. 

“Everybody makes mistakes on the court, you just have to move on and forget about it” This mentality has brought him success over the past few years in all aspects of playing.

Both of Iliff’s siblings are Mehlville volleyball alumni who went on to play competitive volleyball after high school. Jordan Iliff, Ian’s older sister, went on to play for Mizzou, while Drew Iliff, Ian’s brother, went on after college to play for a professional team.

Even though there is sibling rivalry, there also is mutual respect among each of their volleyball careers. 

When asked about being compared to his sibling’s legacy, Iliff said, “I think it’s hard to compare us skill-wise because they have been playing for a lot longer than I have, but I do look to them as an example when I’m down on myself.” 

Iliff’s siblings have taught him many things about volleyball, but most importantly, they taught him how to be a team leader. Other teammates refer to him as the cheerleader, someone who always spreads positive energy on the court.

 “In certain matches when we might not be playing our best, it’s my job to keep us up and give us energy, like, I try to keep everyone in good spirits so we can pull out some wins.”  Iliff’s high spirits on the court are a great asset to any team. 

He hopes to have the opportunity to play volleyball in college after high school, and with his work ethic and attitude, his options are open. Iliff’s story is a great example of someone quickly rising to the top because he never stopped believing in himself, and having a great mindset on and off the court.

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