Longggggggggggggg Read – sorry ‘bout it
Holy cow! It’s August already! I haven’t written a single blog post allllllllllll summer and so much has happened. I mean, wow what a summer.
For starters, I finished my season in Italy and it was such a great experience. I learned so much while I was there – posted a whole blog about it in fact – and had my first taste of international volleyball. After leaving Italy I was given the incredible opportunity to get a little bit of training in the USA gym in Anaheim, California! So a few days after getting back to the States, I flew out to CA and trained with the girls in the gym there. Ok not girls, women and WOW are they some incredible women! All striving to master their craft and all genuine people with unique personalities. They push one another, including me, to be better every day while at the same time learning and growing as athletes themselves. It’s been an incredible thing to be a part of.
About 3 weeks into my training in CA, USA took a roster of 14 girls around the globe for VNL, an international tournament in its introductory year. For seven weeks the girls toured the world, faced adversity, and kicked some serious ass. Meanwhile, I got the chance to stay in the gym and train with a new group of girls who would try and earn a roster spot on the Pan American Cup travel roster. For my Penn State peeps out there, you might’ve recognized players like Simone Lee and Aiyana Whitney who, like me, were training to earn a roster spot. Penn State Alum and Living Legend Badass Alisha Glass was also in the gym, this time wearing Red, White and Blue as a coach!
It was an intense seven weeks of training for us filled with highs, lows, frustrations, victories, lessons, and failures. But at the end of it all, fourteen of us were selected to travel to the Dominican Republic to represent USA at the Pan American Cup. If you didn’t know, Simone, Aiyana, and myself were all blessed with the opportunity to travel. So away we went. We flew to the Dominican Republic, played 6 well fought games, and came home with a Gold medal after a GRUELING, fiercely competitive, well fought match against a very strong Dominican team in a very LOUD Dominican gym.
Now, after a little vacation home, I’m back in the USA gym for one more training block before my professional season. Simone and Aiy will be there too! It’s another incredible opportunity to train and learn in a fiercely competitive gym. Then, towards the middle of September, USA will send another fourteen or so girls to World Championships where they will compete again for another Gold Medal.
Looking ahead! I’m headed back to Italy next season! I signed a contract with an A1 team in Brescia, Italy called Millennium Brescia volleyball club for my first FULL season in Italy! Whew intimidating to think about, but the adventure continues!
As far as the other girls from the Penn State class of 2018:
Ali Frantti: Finished out her first professional stint in Slovenia and signed another contract with a team in France for her first full season! Pomplemousse is headed to France!
Simone Lee: Will train in the USA gym some more this summer and then is headed to Turkey for her first full professional season! There she’ll play alongside Kelly Hunter from Nebraska and Annie Drews from Purdue.
Clare Powers: Recently got a job as a GA coaching volleyball in Texas while also pursuing her master’s in interdisciplinary studies with emphasizes in English, Sports Management, and Education! Plus she’s dating the cutest ginger around.
Heidi Thelen: Is beaching it up and also living in California where she works for the elite athletic equipment distributor, HyperIce.
Lainy Pierce: Is still working in PA and makes her way back to Penn State every once in awhile. Be sure to say hi if you ever get the chance to see her!
Abby Detering: Will also be playing professionally again next season! She’s headed to France too after kicking some major booty in her league in Austria. Rumor has it she played outside, opposite, and setter all in the short time she was there.
Nia Reed: Has one more season at Penn State and is just now starting preseason. Thoughts and prayers to you booboo…She’s most likely still tearing it up though like the walking tank she is.
Bryanna Weiskircher: Is also still kicking it at Penn State where she’ll be finishing out her final season as well. She too is starting preseason, RIP bro….. my heart goes out to you.
And that’s everyone! Look at us, we’re doing it! All off on our own grand adventures, living life. Hope everyone is doing so so great and enjoying their summers!
For the future, I plan on posting a little bit more frequently (no promises though). Dare I say even once a week. Gasp, I know I’ll believe it when I see it too… So, stay tuned! For those of you still with me after this lonngggg post thanks for hanging in there. Until next time!
and all that jazz
4 thoughts on “Life Update!”
Good to hear from you. Sounds like a fabulous life. I know mom and dad are so proud of you. If your ever in Arizona, or anywhere close let us know we would love to see you. Al, Mona & Alex Hord.
Congrats. We are proud of you. Brooklyn follows your posts on Instagram. Keep in touch.
Wow! What an adventure Haleigh! The Anthony Family is cheering you on from PA!!! So many awesome opportunities and wow, moving up to A2 team in Italy next year! We love reading your posts and joining you in your journey, especially one little girl in particular who is passionately pursuing volleyball because of you! Keep in touch and remember your roots 😊❤️!
So happy to read that your 1 st international experience was great and that you learned a lot. I’m usually reading blogs or interviews from players playing aboard that tells the people how much they sacrifice…. even USA volley ball board member…. well all this people make me feel really bad about our continent, yes it’s different, yes we think different and yes it’s hard to leave your family and friends behind….. but at the end of the month you are well paid to play a game that you love isn’t it and it’s not possible in the US….! Also I’ve been traveling our your fabulous country ( that I love as much as France) probably more than commun US people and sorry but historycaly USA can’t much with Europe , USA is only 200 years old ! Italy France etc…. Germany and of course all the rest of Europe has so many think to show and teach , for those who are interested !
A few week ago I met Philadelphia people in Berlin , in front of Humbolt university …. they were looking on a glass panel on the floor and they had no idea what happened at that place…..Crystal night when the nazi took over in Germany…. I was a little bit schocked !
So I really I appreciate that you didn’t complain about Europe !
Aly Franti is coming to play in Mulhouse my hometown , I can remember you and her as I visited 3 years ago Penn State , I hope that she will be happy in France MULHOUSE has the best crowd in France. Nia Grant is playing in Potsdam Germany also a huge historic area , I recommend you to visit huge castle à Berlin is magic.
Wish you a fabulous season in Brescia ( beautiful city) hope that you will enjoy Dolce vita…. and that you will be part of the roster that will play in Tokyo or Paris !
Say hello to all the Penn State people , enjoy your time in Europe !
All the best
Volley ball coach in France