Haley Fossett taking her game to the next level

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Pampa Lady Harvester Haley Fossett is taking her game to the next level after signing to play volleyball at Wayland Baptist University on Thursday.

“I’ve always been looking for more of a smaller school and a coach that would work with your schedule,” Fossett said. “That’s what Jim Giacomazzi (volleyball coach) does. If you have school, he will make sure you go to school first and do your classes and tests. The environment is amazing out there. Everyone is so nice, everyone knows everyone and you can trust everyone. The teammates love each other and the sport no matter what. That’s the environment I want to be around.”

That environment is not only similar to Pampa’s but only a couple hours away from Fossett’s home-town.

“I do not want to be away from home,” Fossett said. “I wanted to be at a distance but not too far. This is perfect. It’s a small town and has nice people.”

Head Coach Kaylee Samulowitz has seen Fossett grow into the player she is today, after being her coach while both were in the JV ranks.

“She’s special to me because she was a freshmen when I was her coach on JV,” Samulowitz said. “She was my JV setter. It’s been really fun to see her continue to grow and get better. The amount of time and effort it takes for a kid to get to the level to where they can go and play college ball, people just don’t understand it. It’s been kind of cool to see her dedicate herself to the sport. I’m super proud of her and excited to go watch her play.”

Fossett makes the third player in three years from the Lady Harvesters volleyball team to take her game to the college level following in the footsteps of Georgie Osborne and Tynaa Mojica.

“The kids that get to this point are the ones that put in the time and work for it,” Samulowitz said. “It’s fun to come to these (signing) days and see their work pay off.”

Fossett said working under Samulowitz’ guidance and mentorship was instrumental in the smooth transition to picking Wayland Baptist.

“She’s made this whole thing amazing,” Samulowitz said. “When I first heard from Wayland Baptist I asked her about it. She gave me some good advice. She said to follow my heart and to make sure it’s the environment I want to be around. When I went over there, she gave me questions to ask to help me. It helped me a ton. She prepared me for everything.”

As for Fossett’s favorite memory of this year? It was in the part of the season she didn’t play much, but still felt like a part of the team.

“Tournament seasons were so fun even though I missed so many of them,” Fossett said. “I only got to play in one because I was hurt, Coach Sam was amazing and made me feel involved no matter what and made me feel like I was needed. She was always there for me and always made me feel she always had my interests at heart.”

Samulowitz said this year was such a great year for Fossett as she gained experience that’ll be a big part of her college career.

“She grew so much as a leader this year,” Samulowitz said. “Last year she didn’t have as big of a role so to see her come in this year into that role as a leader, playing libero this year, that was huge. That experience is going to be so valuable to her going to the next level. Seeing her celebrate big and seeing her all over the place, she’s fun to watch. I’ll never forget those last few games, especially that last game against Hereford, I thought it was one of her best games. I’ll never forget it.

Fossett is going to major in pre-pharmacy at Wayland Baptist University. The Pampa News would like to congratulate Fossett on this great accomplishment.

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