LEIPSIC – As a freshman, Hayley Heitmeyer decided to forgo all other sports and focus on volleyball with hopes of playing at the collegiate level. Fast forward four years and the senior standout for the Vikings fulfilled that goal when she signed a letter of intent to play volleyball for Xavier Thursday.
“I gave up a lot of things. I went to practice three days a week at a club in Toledo and I have been watching volleyball since I was a little girl and I love it so much that when it it all came about I was in tears because it is a dream come true. I am so blessed to have this opportunity,” Heitmeyer said.
Heitmeyer, who entertained other offers from Ohio State, Indiana State and other Division I school, said the decision to become a Musketeer came around two weeks ago when a Xavier player, playing the same position as Heitmeyer, transferred.
Xavier then contacted Heitmeyer and she took their offer.
“They said ‘we need a middle now and I said I am here and I am ready to go,’” Heitmeyer said. “It all happened so unexpectedly but it was great. I am so happy this opportunity came about.”
Heitmeyer said she fell in love with the school and volleyball program on her visit and she adds that it is a close knit community much like at Leipsic
“I feel like everybody is a family and the academics are awesome,” Heitmeyer said. “The girls are amazing and I am ready to play in the Big East.”
Leipsic head coach Brent Newell said signing with Xavier is a major accomplishment and well deserved.
“She has earned it and she has worked really hard to be here,” Newell said. “Thankfully she was able to find a place that fit her for academics as well as playing volleyball and that is an added bonus. To go to a Division I school like Xavier is great for her.”
The talented senior is coming off a season where she was first-team, All-Ohio selection, District 8 Player of the Year, Blanchard Valley Player of the Year and Putnam County League Player of the year.
Heitmeyer ended with more than 1,000 career kills and led the Vikings to the regional finals.
Even though Heitmeyer brings a wealth of accolades and talent to Xavier she knows it will take more hard work to play at the Division I level.
“I need to keep practicing and keep weight lifting. I feel it is very important if you want to make to the next level and just keep the grades up and keep grinding,” Heitmeyer said. “It is very important to stay on task and be focused 100 percent of the time.”
Newell added that it is a big step and said she is well prepared.
“She is ready to play in college and I think she will fit in nice there,” Newell said.
Heitmeyer joins Shawnee graduate Norah Painter who finished her freshman year at Xavier.
Heitmeyer will be studying biology and hopes to one day become a pediatrician.