Haliscak signs with St. Francis College to play volleyball
Brooke Haliscak of La Vernia is all smiles Nov. 13, as she signs her letter of intent to attend school and play volleyball for St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Brooke is joined by her father, Ian, and her mother, Marilyn.
LA VERNIA -- After a successful high school career filled with accolades, La Vernia’s Brooke Haliscak has earned the opportunity to continue playing volleyball at the collegiate level as a member of the St. Francis College team in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
The senior outside hitter turned a lot of heads this season, and had offers coming in from schools such as Texas Christian University, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Texas State, and others. In the end, however, Brooke said her decision was mostly about making the move to New York.
Brooke said she enjoyed her visit to the school, and feels it is a good fit for her, but also feels it best positions her for the future. She plans to major in broadcast journalism, and wants to be a sports journalist in the future. She imagines there is no better place for her to be than right there in New York.
“I’m in love with New York,” she said with a smile.
Brooke has been to the big city before, and said she is thrilled for the opportunity to live there. She is excited about living on her own in another city, and has been dreaming of playing college volleyball for years. Brooke was also told she will start as a freshman, and that fact also helped make her decision even easier.
While the glow of the big city certainly has her attention, Brooke admitted she would be sad to leave some things behind. She will miss her family and friends most, as well as “Texas” in general.
With so much volleyball success in her past, Brooke has many fond memories of her time on the court. The moment in time that will stay with her forever, though, was the way her sophomore season played out. Brooke had been working hard and earned a starting spot on the Lady Bear varsity squad, but then tore her ACL. The injury forced her to spend a portion of the season watching from the sideline. She was unable to play during La Vernia’s run to the regional playoffs.
“That really hurt me,” she said. “I wanted to be out there playing so bad.”
While missing much of the season was hard on Brooke, she now understands it may have been one of the best things to happen to her. She freely admits the injury forced her to work harder than she ever had before in order to attain her previous level of play. She wanted to get even better, though, and continued to work hard in an effort to continuously raise the bar for herself. The injury forced her to focus more on her training, and greatly improved her mental game as a result.
Brooke also credits her trainer, Lucio Guerra.
“He made me a beast,” she proudly said.
The two will continue training over the spring and summer before Brooke leaves for New York.
When asked about goals for herself at St. Francis, Brooke said she wants to come out strong and make an immediate impact with the team. She is also striving to make all A’s, and, of course, to have fun in New York City.
“I am proud of her,” Brooke’s father, Ian, said. “She has worked hard, and she loves the big city.”
“I’m glad we don’t have to shell out the money,” Brooke’s mother, Marilyn, said with a smile. “I know she wanted to go out of state.”
Brooke’s departure will mean good things for her, but certainly leaves the Lady Bears with a big hole to fill. Brooke was selected as the District 28-3A MVP for this season, and was an All-State selection by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. She is also a great student, earning her Academic All-District honors.