Haleigh Washington makes it Team USA gold medal-winners within its ranks ahead of its inaugural professional season.
On Thursday, America’s first full-season pro volleyball league revealed its latest superstar signing for the its inaugural season and beyond: Haleigh Washington, a gold medalist middle blocker for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics, is joining League One Volleyball (LOVB).
Previously a three-time First Team All-American and NCAA national champion at Penn State. She’s played club volleyball in Italy since turning pro in 2017 and most recently joined Tuscan team Pallavolo Scandicci last year.
“LOVB is bringing the right energy and rigor to the sport and is taking the right steps to ensure that the structure, benefits, and opportunities it offers both on and off the court are equitable and enticing to players around the globe,” Washington said on the occasion. “I’m thrilled to be joining LOVB’s pro league at such an important inflection point in volleyball’s trajectory and believe this is only the start of something big.”
Additionally, the league announced Atlanta and Houston as the first two cities to host its professional clubs.
Washington becomes the third Olympic gold medalist to join League One Volleyball after fellow Team USA stars Kelsey Robinson and Justine Wong-Orantes signed on in December.
As Katlyn Gao, co-founder and CEO of LOVB, said of the news:
“At LOVB, we are not just setting out to create another league, but to make major league volleyball in the US a reality. We are being incredibly methodical and purposeful in how we build. Through our community up model, which starts with our clubs, we are actively creating a path from club to pro, as well as building an ecosystem of engaged fans from the ground floor. We believe volleyball deserves to be on center stage and are incredibly proud of the strides we are making in the sport.”
LOVB was founded in 2020 to lift up the game of volleyball and the girls and women who play it straight from the grassroots. It convenes an Athletes Council of current and former professional volleyball players working to make an impact on the sport at a community level and nurture the next generation of stars. Its inaugural competition season will feature pro teams around the country working in tandem with amateur clubs at the local and regional levels.
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