Brooke Nuneviller conducted her first volleyball video interviews before her last year at Oregon as a project for her master’s degree. The 2022 VolleyballMag.com first-team All-American talked to other players who had been with her in the USA national-team gym. They were really good.
But, as she told me in early January, she had no thoughts about doing them again.
Nuneviller signed with a pro team in Turkey and in January I asked her if she would resume the interviews. The idea was to delve into what pro volleyball life abroad is like. Just have conversations with other Americans playing pro around the world. She was up for it but asked to get settled first and then take it on.
Consider her settled. This is the first edition and she made it easy on herself, talking to three other former Oregon players, Lauren Page, Lindsey Vander Weide and Ronika Stone. And the conversation is remarkably fun and candid about so many issues, from the rigors of practicing and playing, missing home, coping with a new life, how the veterans handled the COVID season, language challenges, and the fun and excitement of being somewhere new.
Page, a 6-footer from Riverside, California, plays for Vandoeuvre Nancy in the French league and is trying to help Nancy make the French league playoffs for the first time in their club’s history. She has been one of the league’s top attackers, hitting .456 this season. She is teammates with Annayka Legros (Coastal Carolina), Shayla Hoeft (Portland), and Slovenian national team member and Pitt alum, Nika Markovic.
Stone, the 6-2 middle from San Jose and daughter of NFL Pro Bowler Ron Stone, is back with Pinkin de Corozal in the Puerto Rican league. Corozal won the league last season and she was the second-best blocker. This year she has been joined by Tori Dilfer (Louisville) and Adanna Rollins (Kentucky).
Vander Weide, the 6-3 product of Turlock, California, also plays in Puerto Rico, but for Changas de Naranjito and ranks in the top 10 for points scored. She is joined by Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres (Texas) and Taylor Sandbothe (Ohio State).
The Turkish league has stopped play because of the earthquake, so, as Nuneviller said, she had time to get this project underway. And you will be glad she did.
Later this week we have Nuneviller’s second installment, a visit with three other players in Turkey, Tori…
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