As a young volleyball player growing up in Naperville, Illinois, Tiffany Clark would watch her favorite college players compete and imagine she might someday get to follow in their footsteps.

And so she did, first at Michigan and then for three seasons with the University of Wisconsin volleyball team. But until relatively recently, that’s as far as she thought she could go in the sport.

“Growing up in the volleyball community I always loved watching these amazing girls in college,” Clark said. “I’d have these idols in college, but once they graduated they kind of dropped off the map when they went overseas.”

Clark now finds herself as part of an effort to change that scenario with the new Athletes United (AU) Volleyball league, which begins play next week in Dallas. Clark is one of 44 players who will be competing for six weeks in the latest venture to establish a professional league in the United States.

Picture Source: GREG ANDERSON

SOURCE ( DENNIS PUNZEL/The State Journal )