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HHP Grad Selected for Australian Women’s National Volleyball Team

HHP grad Sophie Paine has been selected for a place on the Australian Women’s National Volleyball Team, Sophie completed her bachelors degree in Kinesiology this semester. She will begin camp with the Australian women's national volleyball team on May 21, with an eye on qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Sophie's story and her achievements have been featured in the news media.

Sophie Paine
Sophie Paine on the court (Image courtesy UH athletics)

The Houston Chronicle

In an article titled "Nearly derailed by heart condition, UH volleyball star aims for Olympics", the Houston Chronicle traced Sophie's journey from medical issues that almost prevented her from playing Volleyball to her selection in the Australian Women’s National Volleyball Team.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

Paine has known since Christmas she was in the running for one of the 20 spots on the national team but did not find out she made the squad until two weeks ago when coach Shannon Winzer delivered the news via Skype.

"When I came to college it was the epitome for me. I thought I had really done it all," said Paine, a team captain her senior season who split time at setter. "But playing for your country is one of the highest honors. I haven't been able to tell anybody for months about it. I've been keeping this big secret."

Read the full article on the Chronicle website

UH News

Sophie's story was featured by UH News in the article, 'New Coog Grad Ready to be a 'Volleyroo'' by Marisa Ramirez, below is a excerpt from the article

“I’m so grateful to have this opportunity,” Paine said. “I’ve been playing volleyball since the seventh grade. I played through high school and for the Junior National Team. This will be my debut with the Senior team and I’m definitely excited to be part of it.”
She had never been to the United States before arriving at the University three years ago. “This sounds so terrible, but I really expected tumbleweeds, horses and cowboys,” she said. “I love Houston and Houstonians, who are very similar to Australians — very easy to get along with.”

Read the full article on the UH News website

The East Montgomery County Observer

Below is an excerpt from the article:

“I've coached Sophie before and she shows an incredible maturity in running the court and makes confident setting decisions in transition which will only benefit our attack. After four years at the University of Houston, we feel that Sophie is ready to take the next step and challenge herself at the international level,” Australian National Team Head Coach Shannon Winzer said.

“While we expect it to be sharp learning curve, as it is for all our new players in the squad, we have no doubt Sophie will rise to the challenge and continue to improve past her graduating year.”

Read the full article on The East Montgomery County Observer website