by BRIAN KARLOVSKY
Westfields student William Ung this week's Junior Sports Star.
AT just 170cm, William Ung is not your typical elite volleyballer.
But his remarkable leap and deft passing skills have seen the Fairfield West 16-year-old more than rise to the challenge.
In his first year playing volleyball in 2009 the Westfield Sports High School student was selected in the NSW under-15s side, pitting him against much taller and more experienced opponents.
William was not fazed. Since then the diminutive volleyballer, who also plays for Sydney South West, has gone on to represent NSW 17s, helping them reach the finals of the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships last month in Adelaide.
“The most challenging thing at the national comp was probably my height it was difficult to compete against people who were really tall and who can reach much higher than me,” he said. “But I can usually overcome them with my passing skills and my ability to jump really high.”
William said some people were very surprised when he soared above taller opponents only to spike the ball down hard.
His Baulkham Hills representative coach Joe Sleiman said William’s enjoyment of the game and natural ability has transformed him into an elite volleyballer.
“He has exceptional athleticism and although he is not very tall, he more than makes it up with a remarkable jump and a lot of power when he spikes the ball, as well as a great deal of ball control,” Sleiman said.
William said his next goal was to make the NSW 21s team and possibly even the Australian side.
“I hope I can make it into the Australian squad but height is the big factor in volleyball,” he said. “I might be able to make it - maybe if I grow 30cm.”
William is this week’s Fairfield Advance Junior Sports Star nominee, which is sponsored by Rebel Sport and local sponsor Mounties.
To nominate a Junior Sports Star go to juniorsportsstar.com.au or fill in the nomination form on Page 86 of this paper.