Taria Liles was one of the most dominating players to come through the Bell Bulldogs volleyball program.
“She could absolutely take over a game with her offensive performance and crushing kills or service aces,” said Bell volleyball coach Drue Barry.
Liles, who also played basketball, was a three-year starter for the Lady Bulldogs compiling an overall record of 73-12 which included three straight district championships, two regional championships, two Final Four appearances and one state runner-up finish.
Her favorite high school sports moment was beating Trenton her sophomore year in the Class 1A state semifinals to advance Bell to its first-ever state championship game in school history.
Liles, who was an Honors student, finished her high school career with 935 kills, 161 aces, 43 blocks, and 564 digs.
Her favorite quote is “Your goals should be out of reach, but never out of sight.”
“Bell has been blessed with some outstanding hitters over the years and Taria is definitely one of the best we have had come through,” Barry said. “She was an integral part of getting Bell to its first state championship appearance in school history during her sophomore season.”
This past November she was recognized by the Florida Dairy Farmers as runner-up for the Class 1A Player of the Year behind Kiara Garrett of state champion Sneads.
Liles recorded a team-leading 420 kills as the ‘Dogs finished 20-6 in 2020, falling to eventual state runner-up Newberry in the state semifinals. She also finished second on the team with 235 digs.
That led to her selection to play in the North Florida Volleyball All-Star Classic last fall where she was named MVP for the West team.
“I will forever remember the amazing teammates I had and all of my coaches because without them I would not be where I am today,” she said.
Liles will attend Florida Gateway College in Lake City to continue her volleyball career while obtaining an AA degree. She will be teaming up with former Lady Bulldog setter Kylee Barry.
“Taria will undoubtedly have an immediate impact on FGC and I expect big things from her,” added Barry. “She is definitely a player that will be missed in the program.”
This is the latest in our summer “Senior Spotlight” series recognizing some of the top area student athletes from the Class of 2021.