Prior to her stint in the Premier Volleyball League, Petro Gazz import Lindsey Vander Weide has already suited up in France, Hungary, and Greece.
But of the four countries that she has graced in her very young career, the Philippines, by far, is the most special place that she has ever played in.
“This is by far, the most fun I’ve had in a long time, playing volleyball,” said Vander Weide, just moments after leading Petro Gazz to its second Reinforced Conference title at the expense of Cignal on Tuesday night.
“Insane. The Filipino fans are insane. I’ve never experienced something like this in my entire life. It’s crazy. I think this is how volleyball fans should be, so I really appreciate them for showing up and supporting all the time,” she added.
The 25-year-old American was phenomenal in her very first stint in the Philippines, leading the Angels back to the promised land almost four years since they last won a title in the PVL.
Vander Weide’s exceptional performance did not go unnoticed as she bagged the Best Import award and, later on, the Finals MVP plum to become the first reinforcement to win the awards after former Petro Gazz guest players Janisa Johnson and Wilma Salas, respectively, achieved the milestones.
“It feels great. I didn’t know how the awards worked, at all. I didn’t know there was a Finals MVP, and I didn’t know it was gonna happen. So when my name was called, I mean it was a great feeling. The finals is the most important part of the season, and I’m glad that I was able to help my team win this, so it feels really good,” said Vander Weide.
“I mean, I couldn’t have it any better. This is just amazing. I had no idea what I was coming into, playing in the Philippines. This is my first season, I just heard stuff about it, and amazing. It was a great team to be on, clearly, and I just think I fit perfectly. I was a perfect puzzle piece with this team, so it worked out great,” she added.
Vander Weide had nothing but good words for her new-found family, who she claimed as one of the most hard-working teams that she has ever played with in her budding international career.
“I’m feeling great. I’m so happy to do it with this team, this is one of the most hard-working teams I’ve ever been on, and I think we really showed that in our Finals run,” said Vander Weide.
“I have never seen us this focused, until this time, which is the most important. And we pulled it out and got the championship. So I’m so ecstatic, and I’m so happy to do it with this team, once again,” she added.
Without a doubt, Vander Weide had a blast in her maiden PVL stint. And she loved it so much that she’s planning to recommend it to her former collegiate teammates and even come back herself come the next Reinforced Conference.
“Oh definitely. I know I have some really good teammates coming out of college right now, that are graduating. I’ll definitely — this is my favorite place I’ve played overseas, by far. So I will definitely recommend it to my teammates,” said Vander Weide.
“I would love to come back here. I’m going home for a little bit first, I’m really excited to see my family. But I would love to come back here, 100-percent.”