Haleigh Washington, the 28-year-old middle blocker of Italy’s Savino Del Bene Scandicci and the US national team, answered Volleyball World’s questions in an exclusive interview about her time in Italy, about returning to America for a new and exciting project, about her Olympic title and aspirations and about her favourite volleyballers.
When she was in seventh grade, young Haleigh picked volleyball over basketball and a shining athletic career followed. After excelling in the sport in her high school years in Colorado, she went on to compete for Penn State Nittany Lions in her university years and helped win the 2014 NCAA national championship. Washington was a three-time first-team All-American. She was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2014 and the Big Ten Defender of the Year in 2017.
In 2017, the 1.90m-tall athlete moved to Italy and has been playing for Italian clubs ever since, reaching one national championship final, three national cup finals and one national super cup final. She has been a player of Savino Del Bene since 2022 and last season they won Europe’s CEV Cup. Currently, they are running fourth in the 2024 Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A Tigota and have already qualified for the upcoming Coppa Italia A1 Frecciarossa semifinals and the CEV Champions League quarterfinals. As of the next club season, Haleigh Washington will move back to the United States, where she will be involved with the new League One Volleyball as a member of LOVB Salt Lake City.
Washington has had an even more successful national team career. In 2021, she was named on the Dream Team of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where the United States triumphed as gold medallists. She was also on the squads that celebrated victorious in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, winning back-to-back gold in 2019 and in 2021, and earned a Dream Team nomination in 2019. Washington’s medal collection also features a 2019 FIVB Volleyball World Cup silver, a 2018 Pan American Cup gold and two NORCECA Championship silvers in 2019 and 2023. USA have already qualified to defend their Olympic title at this summer’s Games in Paris.