Volleyball has brought Lindsay Stalzer all over the world. She’s played in the best leagues in Europe, South America, and even in some prominent leagues around Asia, rarely coming back to play in the same league twice.
But Stalzer admits the Philippines and the Philippine Superliga have given her a pleasantly different experience. She played for Cignal in the 2014 Grand Prix where they finished fourth. Stalzer had always known she wanted to come back, even visiting the country during the PSL All-Filipino Conference, months before the Grand Prix.
“I really enjoyed my time here and I thought, ‘Why not come back?‘ I enjoyed getting to see the country and the people here are really nice – everyone wants to be your friends, you don’t find that everywhere. And I just think it’s incredible how much people love volleyball here. We don’t get the type of crowds in other countries that we do here,” said the American.
Donning the Foton Tornadoes’ blue and orange this conference, Stalzer picked up right where she left off last season, dazzling crowds as she rocketed over opposing blockers for thunderous smashes. Although the Tornadoes seemed more like a gentle breeze in the early parts of the first round, they picked up intensity in the second half of the tournament and knocked off fellow favorites one-by-one.
Stalzer and the Torndoes are now entrenched in a tough three-game Finals series against the Petron Blaze Spikers, culminating tomorrow at the Cuneta Astrodome with the winner taking the PSL Grand Prix crown and the chance to represent the Philippines in international tournaments.
Having achieved so much in her career, Stalzer wants nothing more than to repay her Filipino fans and the Foton organization with a championship.
“It would be awesome, I haven’t won a lot of championships so this would be very cool. Especially because I’m an older player,” said the 31-year old Bradley University alum, who has won a championship in the Slovenian league and went to the Finals of the Thai and Swiss leagues.
“As my career winds down, it would be awesome for me to go out on a high and of course it’s going to be great for the team, especially given how hard everyone has worked to get to the top,” Stalzer continued.
Coming off a tough Game Two loss, Stalzer thinks her team’s mental stability will be key in tomorrow’s winner-take-all Game Three. “We’re going to need to focus on the game. It’s going to be a challenge for sure given all the noise in the gym and the gravity of the situation. But I think everyone on the team trusts each other and we’re going to go out there wanting to win for each other,” she said.
“No one really expected us to be here coming into the playoffs, we were the bottom seed. I think everyone was ecstatic when we first got here to the Finals and now everybody just has their eye on getting the title.”
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