Lindsey Vander Weide and Maddy Halteman have been teammates for years and friends for even longer. They started playing volleyball together in the 7th grade and quickly developed a one-two punch with Halteman acting as the setter to Vander Weide’s outside hits. Their chemistry — on and off the court — continued to bud as they entered Pitman High and eventually blossomed this past season when the senior co-captains led the Pride to their best season in school history.
It’s been said that all good things come to an end, however. For Vander Weide and Halteman, that process continued on Tuesday when they both signed their respective letters of intent to play for the University of Oregon and Fresno State. But while the ink on their collegiate contracts served as a precursor to their eventual departure from each other, it also served as a reason to look back as their shared path and accomplishments.
“It makes me really happy that we’re signing together. It just makes me think of all the hard work that we’ve put in together, the whole time, and in the end we got what we wanted. We worked for it together,” Vander Weide said.
“I’ve known Lindsey for as long as I can remember, so this is a really special moment for us,” Halteman said. “I’m going to miss playing with Lindsey so much. I’m going to cry when she leaves, but I’m happy for her and I’m happy for myself.”
Vander Weide exits Pitman as a four-year varsity starter with four Central California Conference championships and Halteman exits as a three-year varsity starter with three CCC championships, but both will undoubtedly remember their senior years for the rest of their lives. The pair helped the Pride go undefeated in league for a third consecutive year, win the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section championship for the first time, win the Division I Northern California Championship for the first time and earn a trip to the Division I State finals match for the first time.
In addition to their team accomplishments, the pair have also earned their fair share of individual accolades.
Through her four years at Pitman, Vander Weide has been named to the MaxPreps All-State DI team, the MaxPreps All-American team, was a Volleyball Magazine All-American honorable mention and a Prep Volleyball All-American finalist for national player of the year. She was also named first-team in the CCC from 2012 to 2014, won the CCC defensive player of the year in 2012 and won the CCC MVP in both 2013 and 2014. Other achievements include being named a senior ace by Prepvolleyball.com, earning a spot on the Under Armour All-American third team and being selected as a nominee for the 2014-15 Gatorade Player of the Year award.
Halteman was also named first-team in the CCC from 2012 to 2014 and picked up CCC setter of the year in that time frame, as well. In addition, she was a Prep Volleyball National All-American honorable mention in 2014.
It’s no surprise with their level of success that both players have been tapped to play for Division I programs.
For Vander Weide, Tuesday’s signing ceremony was just a formality after having verbally committed to the Ducks as a sophomore, choosing Oregon over such programs as the University of Arizona, University of Hawaii and Pepperdine University.
“I’m just excited because it makes me think that I’m one step closer to starting my college career. I’ve been waiting for this for a couple of years and it just makes me really happy,” Vander Weide said. “It was hard because there was a lot of good schools out there, it was hard to make a decision when you have to choose between them, but once I stepped on the campus and met the team and the coaches I knew I wanted to go there.”
Vander Weide will join a Ducks team that finished 23-10 overall last season.
“The coach said I’m going to have to work for my spot but he wants to see me start,” Vander Weide said. “I’m just looking forward to improving a lot because I know there’s a new coach I’ve never had before and I’m going to learn a lot of new skills.”
While her 6’3” friend and teammate had her collegiate home cemented for a couple of years, Halteman didn’t verbally commit to play for Fresno State until last summer when she opted to become a Bulldog rather than join Fresno Pacific.
Halteman will continue to facilitate the ball as a setter at the college level but is expected to red shirt her first year.
“I’m really excited to red shirt because what I do is I just get to train with them, I get to get used to it and get stronger and better,” Halteman said. “I love the coaches; I love the team. I just feel really comfortable there and welcome.”
Halteman will join a Bulldogs team that finished 8-24 overall last season.
“I’m so excited right now, I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire life,” Halteman said. “I’m looking forward to just being out on the court and doing what I’m best at.”