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European exposure nets benefits for White

Comet volleyball standout plays in Italy

Whitney White, a sophomore standout on the Halifax County High School varsity volleyball team, got a little taste of international volleyball when she toured Italy last summer.

 

White visited Rome, Grosseto Marina, Florence, Pisa and Venice, taking in the history and culture of Italy while getting a chance to play counterparts on several Italian teams.

“There were 24 girls chosen from across the United States, and we made up two teams,” explained White. “We all met up in Rome on June 14.  We toured the city for two days, then started intense practices.”

Games between her team and its Italian counterparts took on an Olympics feel, according to White, with the teams exchanging gifts and White receiving a game jersey.

White and her team played beach volleyball for five days in Grosseto Marina after leaving Rome.

“That was my first time playing beach volleyball, playing volleyball next to the Tyrrhenian Sea, then swimming in the sea,” said White. “It was an experience that I will never forget.”

Their hosts threw a party for them before they left, complete with a six-course meal, and they taught their guests different Italian dances, White added.

The Americans toured Florence and Pisa before playing their last tournament in Venice.

“They were the team that was least fortunate,” said White.  “They used shopping carts to hold their volleyballs.  Our team decided to give that team our team jerseys. That way they had a new one.  It was such an emotional moment for us. It was real interesting, they don’t have the luxuries we have here in the United States,” White explained. 

“The talent level compares to ours.  We had the usual language barriers to contend with, especially in south Italy.”

In her own words, White is an average 16-year-old girl, but at 6-2, White has always stood out in a crowd, playing both basketball and volleyball, but White admitted she’s started to lean toward volleyball as her sport of choice.

“I think volleyball is my passion,” White pointed out.

“When I started coming here (high school) in eighth grade and started having so much fun with volleyball was when I started thinking I may like it even more than basketball.

“I want to play volleyball in college.  I think my skills lend themselves more to volleyball. I want to continue with volleyball and basketball in high school and maybe both in college,” she added.

Halifax County High School Varsity Volleyball Head Coach Tiffaney White, herself a standout player in high school, has been impressed with White thus far.

“It’s the first season I’ve seen her play,” said White.

“First impressions, she’s pretty intimidating, her height, and then once she starts hitting, that’s phenomenal.

“She’s got a great future, she’s only a 10th-grader.”

With her height and skill set, the sky is the limit for the sophomore hitter, according to her coach.

“Sometimes she lacks a little focus and aggression,” commented White.

“She’s become more of a team player and doesn’t worry as much about her stats.  She’s had some hiccups, she sprained her ankle and was out the first couple of games.” 

If she gets good, consistent sets, White can dominate the net, according to her coach.

“She’s also become a good outside hitter, and she’s a great blocker, and honestly from the teams we’ve played, the best blocker, period, when she’s on,” said White.

“She’s a collegiate prospect and as a 10th-grader she already has a couple of scouts looking at her. Her collegiate future and beyond that is bright.”

“She eats and sleeps volleyball,” said White’s mother, Kristine White. “I’m just really glad she has the relationship with Tiffaney she has now. She brings that love and nurturing to her.”