Farmington Hills Mercy’s Julia Bishop goes up to spike the ball at a practice earlier this season. Bishop won the 2020 Miss Volleyball award.

Farmington Hills Mercy’s Julia Bishop goes up to spike the ball at a practice earlier this season. Bishop won the 2020 Miss Volleyball award.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Mercy’s Bishop wins Miss volleyball, talks future

By: Zachary Manning | C&G Newspapers | Published December 16, 2020

FARMINGTON HILLS — For the first time in state history, one program has had players win the Miss Volleyball award in back-to-back years.

This year’s honor went to Farmington Hills Mercy’s Julia Bishop. She followed former teammate Jess Mruzik.

When Mercy volleyball coach Loretta Vogel first met Bishop in the eighth grade, she knew she was getting a special player.

Vogel compared the star setter to a quarterback. The way she is able to lead the offense and take control of a match are just a few qualities Vogel saw early on.

With four years at Mercy, Bishop blossomed into one of the best players in the state and helped lead the Marlins to levels of success the program has never seen before.

During her four-year career with the Marlins, Bishop helped secure the program’s first Division 1 state title, three regional titles and three Catholic High School League championships.

“Having someone like Julia who can distribute the ball, she can speed the tempo up, she gives a great out-of-system ball,” Vogel said. “I think everyone will agree when you have someone like that as a setter, it does lead to success.”

Bishop is the third Mercy player overall to win Miss Volleyball. Maddy Doyle earned the award in 2011.

Bishop finished this season with 1,013 assists, 192 digs, 119 kills, 34 blocks and 65 aces. Along with her state success, Bishop was named an Under Armour First Team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Outside of Bishop, Mercy also had Charli Atiemo in the running for this year’s award. Bishop said Atiemo was very supportive and happy for her.

“We’ve both been playing with each other for so many years, and we both know that these accolades could not be possible without each one of us,” Bishop said. “She was super excited for me, and I was excited that she was a finalist, too, because it’s something you don’t see a lot. We were both very happy for each other, and we’re both so happy we got the opportunity to play with each other for so long.”

Bishop will be continuing her career at Michigan State University and will get the opportunity to play against Mruzik, who is currently playing at the University of Michigan.

The two former teammates are good friends off the court, and that will add a little more to the rivalry when they are able to face off.

“It’s going to be something really special,” Bishop said of playing against Mruzik. “Obviously, we’re going to be friends right off the court, but right when the first whistle blows, we know that we’re both very intense competitors, and that’ll be a game that’s super emotional for both of us. We’ve been playing with each other for so long. Being able to figure out how to use each other’s weaknesses against each other is going to be kind of exciting and kind of fun to see how that turns out.”

As a former coach of both Mruzik and Bishop, watching her former players at the next level is something Vogel can’t wait to see.

“It’s going to be fun to watch,” Vogel said. “I think for those of us at Mercy and the volleyball family at Mercy, it will just be enjoyment to watch the two of them compete at that level.”