BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
When Haley Clum was growing up, her friends told her to play volleyball. So that’s what she did. Now, six years after that first game, Clum is on her way to play the sport at the collegiate level.
This fall, the 2017 Grosse Ile graduate will head to Saginaw Valley State University on a volleyball scholarship, following a senior season where she was awarded a Huron League Scholar Athlete metal, All Huron League First Team, All Region and All State honors. Clum’s friends were the ones who urged her into the sport and when she entered Grosse Ile High School, she saw the court as an opportunity to meet new people.
“My friends who had played before told me that I should try it, and they were right,” Clum said. “I really enjoyed playing volleyball and coming into a new high school I figured it would also be a great way to meet people and make new friends.”
The middle blocker did indeed make some friends, while leaving quite the impression on the court. Her senior season she finished as team MVP with 211 kills, 38 digs, 96 blocks, nine aces and two assists to go with her All State honors. She followed it up with a senior basketball season that included leading her team in rebounds with 134 and 48 blocked shots as team captain.
The Red Devil volleyball star also played for Legends Volleyball Club and started thinking about a collegiate career the summer before her sophomore year during team camp.
“My coach was asked from the college coach to make a list of who she thought could potentially play in college,” Clum said. “She told me that I was on that list, and that definitely was what started the process.”
Throughout the process, Clum racked up a few favorite memories along with some superstitions. During a game, she refused to have her hair braided like many teammates.
“Every time I did, either I would have an off day or we would lose the game, so I always just wore a ponytail,” she said.
Favorite memories were easy.
“Winning districts my junior and senior year and making it to the regional finals my junior year with my team,” she said. “We all worked so hard and it paid off.”
Now, the future elementary education major turns to a new chapter in her life and while she knows it will be a new level of challenges, she is ready for the task.
“College volleyball is definitely going to be a lot different from high school and club ball, but I’m really excited to see what it’s like to play at the next level,” she said.
As Clum moves on with her career, she encourages other players to always pursue their own dreams, despite any setbacks an athlete can encounter.
“Volleyball is a game of ups and downs,” she said. “Just always keep pushing yourself to be the best you can be. There will always be times where you won’t play as much as you wanted, or lost a game you should have won, but don’t make that into a reason for giving up. Let it be your motivation to keep working.”