2017-18 Tryout Letter

A Letter From The Co-Owner / Director:

Dear parents and players,

Early in my college career at Northwestern I received a message from a young girl who had come to see me play.  The message read, “How can I be you?” Naturally caught off guard, I wasn’t sure how to respond. Years after the conversation with this aspiring volleyball player ended, the question still sticks with me.  Touched and humbled, I realized at that moment that young girls around the country considered me their role model. Looking back on this random message, I know now, that this young girl was speaking about so much more than my athletic ability - it was what I represented: hard work, dedication, commitment, passion, teamwork, intensity, leadership, drive, etc.  Most importantly, I realized that I was unknowingly inspiring others through my play on the court.  

While it’s difficult for me to admit to myself that my ability to attack a ball to the floor wane’s every day in my professional playing retirement, I look back with pride on the lessons I’ve learned, the challenges I overcame, and the qualities I gained from club volleyball that make me the person I am today.  If not for the sport of volleyball, I wouldn’t have experienced the joy of winning a national championship, becoming an All-American, playing professionally, or the honor representing our country on the U.S. Youth and Junior National Teams. Just as important as these wonderful life journeys, is the understanding of what it means to be fully committed to TEAM - to put the group's best interests above your own.  I have learned about hard work, personal sacrifice, and how something as simple as a sport can bring the world together, in the wake of political differences which have created so many reasons to drive us apart. Last, but not least, the sport of volleyball made it possible for me to attend two top world universities, where I found myself pushed educationally by some of the brightest minds in each respective country.  

What we aspire to create at Pipeline goes far beyond a player’s ability to dig, set, or attack a ball.  Through the sport of volleyball we are creating opportunities for children and young adults to grow in every aspect of their lives - physically, emotionally, mentally, and athletically.  We are teaching our players what “hard work” really represents, to believe in themselves, what it means to be a good teammate, and most importantly, to be kind, good-hearted individuals.  

To be “in the pipeline” means being “in the process of being developed, provided, or completed; in the works; under way.”  As we strive to continually set the standards of club volleyball, our drive for excellence in the sport will ultimately guide players through their own personal pipeline as they set and achieve their respective goals in the sport.  Ultimately, we are providing our players a challenging and supportive environment to grow, through the game of volleyball, as both athletes and individuals.  

We hope you’ll choose to be part of this adventure!  GO PIPELINE!

2018-19 Tryout Letter

A Letter From The Co-Owner / Director:

Dear Parents & Players,

I recall a weekend when I was in 7th grade, I was flipping through tv channels and came upon a Big Ten volleyball match.  I watched the girls in awe; the way they moved effortlessly and attacked with such power. As I watched I thought to myself, “I want to play in the Big Ten someday.  Could I ever be good enough to compete at that level?” From that moment on, competing in the Big Ten was a dream that motivated me daily. Some questioned the idea - I was too short, too skinny, not strong enough, etc.  To be completely honest, the only people that truly believed I could fulfill my dream were the coaches that personally worked with me in the gym - those who saw first hand how hard I worked and my passion for the sport. Fast forward to my freshman year of high school and I received my first Big Ten college scholarship offer.  At the age of 15, before I even had my drivers license, I verbally committed to play at Northwestern University, where I would not only compete in the Big Ten, but earn a full scholarship to attend one of the most prestigious universities in the world.  

Like many other young girls who watch with admiration, I had no understanding of the sacrifices and hard work it would take to turn my dream of playing in the Big Ten Conference into a reality.  And on top of that, when I finally stepped on campus three years after I committed, how much work it would continue to take to live out that dream. How could I know…. when I hadn’t yet experienced it myself?  

What many aspiring athletes see when they watch players compete at a high level (Olympics, collegiate games, championship matches) is the athletes level of play at that moment.  But what they do not see are the hours spent in the gym, the constant ups and downs of growth, and the sacrifices those athletes, and their families - thank you mom and dad! - made.  In short, the athletes’ skill level is the product of hard work, passion, commitment, sacrifice, etc. which often goes unnoticed and certainly unknown to those who are not a part of the athlete’s journey.  Looking back on my volleyball career today I have a first-hand understanding of what it takes to live out a dream. 

I remember my transition Northwestern Volleyball three years after I committed.  Encompassing ‘body’ (working with my trainers to develop my body to the physical strength I would need to play in the Big 10), ‘mind’ (becoming the best student I could be through balance of time management between volleyball and classroom), and ‘spirit’ (achievement of personal happiness through learning to be a good teammate, friend, role model, and citizen in my community), I drew from everything I had learned from my previous club coaches and vast team experiences. 

From the age of 12, my volleyball dream was nurtured to reality through those coaches who believed in me and pushed me to excel.  In so many ways, I have lived many athletes dreams and now I am honored to help the next generation fulfil theirs. Pipeline Girls was created to emulate my experiences and what I represent.  We wish to inspire and push athletes to give their very best in every aspect of their lives and to give our athletes the tools to lead by words and examples on their respective teams and in our communities.  Lastly, to inspire others to follow in their footsteps. 

In our inaugural season we had the privilege of being a part of 98 young women’s journeys.  As I reflect on our first club season and watch many of the girls compete with their high school teams today, I take pride in the impact this program is having on their lives.  Eventually one day, like myself, our players will look back with pride on their volleyball careers and attribute much of who they are to the lessons they learned through their volleyball journey, both on and off the court.  

Here’s to our second season!  GO PIPELINE!