PLAIN CITY, Ohio (WCMH) — At the small school of Shekinah Christian, there’s a big-time volleyball player making a name for herself. Hailey Campagna is one of the best players not only in Ohio but the country.
The Mississippi State commit is top 10 in the country in kills this season as a junior. She grew up competing in gymnastics, but an injury four years ago prompted her to find another sport while also dealing with a life-altering situation.
“My mom, after I got injured, was like, Hailey, you should try volleyball,” Campagna said. “Ever since I touched that ball, I was like, I just love it.”
In the four years since she started playing, Campagna’s been voted two-time All Ohio, two-time American Volleyball Coaches phenom, AAU All-American and Under Armour Next All-American.
“It was clear to begin with that she was just a natural athlete,” Shekinah Christian volleyball coach Colleen Showalter said. “Hailey’s very strong. She hits really hard and just the ability to jump really high.”
But her world turned upside down soon after she started playing.
“My mom left when I was around 12 [years old], and I kind of had to learn the ropes till I was like 14,” Campagna said. “I went to my grandparents and my uncle and my aunt for help, like, please lead me in the right direction, because I want to do everything I possibly can to be able to thrive.”
With her dad already out of the picture, Campagna learned to trust and rely on her support system.
“We kind of just grouped together as a family and picked up the pieces,” Hailey’s uncle JC Campagna said. “I think for her to deal with some adversity like that and to turn into this fantastic young woman that she is today really speaks to her character, and we’re really proud of her.”
That support, along with an unrelenting work ethic, have allowed Campagna to become an elite volleyball player — and an even more impressive 16-year-old.
“Really just be open and honest and ask for help when you are down,” she said. “Really just work your hardest for your goals.”