Sophomore to Compete in National Program

Nick Whitley, a sophomore and setter for the men’s volleyball team, will compete in the program in California in December.


Cathedral Men's Volleyball Twitter Page

Per Cathedral’s Volleyball Twitter page, Nick was selected to the USA National Team Development Program and will begin training in December.

With fall sports just starting to come to a close, the men’s volleyball team still has a long wait until it plays in its first games on March 11. That long wait doesn’t mean that the players are resting or slacking off, as many of them have been competing with club teams, enhancing their skills in preparation for their high school seasons in the spring.

One of these players is sophomore Nick Whitley, who will be pivotal to the team’s anticipated success this year after a Semi-state finish last season. Whitley as a freshman served as the setter on the varsity team, a position Head Coach Mr. Tyler McClure ‘08 referred to as, “like the quarterback or the point guard”, and he stated that “the whole offense revolves around (Whitley)”. 

After a successful first season in which Whitley helped to lead the team to a 22-12 record and a Semi-state appearance (the team fell to Roncalli in three sets), Nick set his focus to the club volleyball season, where he competes for the Academy Volleyball Club based in Indianapolis and plays in beach volleyball tournaments in the summer.

Whitley’s performance with the Academy Volleyball team as well as his play in different exposure camps caught the attention of the USA National Team, and on Sept. 25, it was announced that he would be attending the USA Volleyball National Team Development program in California. According to McClure, Whitley will be the first Irish volleyball player to compete in the program. 

Whitley will head out west in December for the program where he will spend a lot of time at the National Team Center in Anaheim. He said, “We’re training five days a week, training with the best players in the country, and just really trying to develop (our) game. 

The main goal of the program, according to Whitley, is exposure and development, and although he is too young to be contacted by college coaches, he expects to catch the eye of some who will be watching during the program.

College coaches (will be) everywhere, and they can see you play in person without them having to fly out to see you play.

— Nick Whitley

Whitley has to wait until after his sophomore year to really ramp up his recruiting process and speak to college coaches, but McClure said that he has had a few “informal discussions” regarding Whitley’s recruitment and he fully expects him to be given the opportunity to play division 1 volleyball.

Whitley will have to be very active once his recruiting period starts due to volleyball’s somewhat unique recruitment style. McClure said, “You have to be able to go to the schools’ websites and fill out their recruit questionnaires because it’s not like football and basketball, where there is a lot more recruiting services and rankings and all of that. That doesn’t really exist for volleyball.”

This development will no doubt help with getting Whitley’s name in the recruiting world, as well as help with his performance, which will be needed on this year’s team.

One of McClure’s goals for the team this year is to have one of the most proficient offenses in the state, and Whitley will likely be a big part of that. McClure will expect him to be even more of a leader on the team this year, with a season of varsity experience under his belt. 

After competing in the program in December, Whitley will focus his attention on the high school season, and he has big expectations for this year’s team. Whitley said, “I’m hoping we win State. I think we have the potential to do it. We have the players, we just need to work hard.”