Van Dyke signs to play volleyball in France

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Will Cheney

Former Georgia Southern University volleyball player Kate Van Dyke closed the book on her collegiate career after her decision to play professionally in Europe.

Van Dyke, the all-time GSU assists leader and 2012 Southern Conference player of the year, has signed a contract with Laon Volley Club in Laon, France.

Van Dyke was somewhat hesitant at first about living in another country. Moving to a foreign country can be a bit of a culture shock.

Learning from past experience, she cited her move from Kansas to Georgia after high school as an experience that will help her cope with the new surroundings.

“I’ve only been out of the country once, when we went to Costa Rica last summer as a volleyball team. It’ll definitely be a new experience, but I feel like moving down here for college has helped me get used to living in a new place,” Van Dyke said.

With the U.S. lacking post-collegiate volleyball outside of the Olympics, it is common for U.S. players to relocate to continue their playing careers.

Similarly to soccer, volleyball players in Europe are cultivated through well-developed youth programs and a well-established professional national league.

“The tempo is slower, the volleyball is a little different, it’s basically a job. I feel like I’ll take it a little differently. But at the end of the day, it’s people who love to play,” Van Dyke said.

After four years as a GSU student-athlete, Van Dyke had a couple of accomplishments that stood out to her as the most memorable.