Going pro: Payne signs with Brazilian team

São Paulo — Kelsie Payne vai ao Brasil para jogar vôlei profissional.

In case you need to brush-up on your Portrugees, Kansas volleyball’s three-time All-American right-side hitter Kelsie Payne has signed a professional contract with Brazilian volleyball club Esporte Clube Pinheiros, based in São Paulo, for the coming fall season.

“Getting the chance to play volleyball at the highest level is an awesome opportunity for me and a testament to how hard I’ve worked and how much time and energy other people have put into my progression as a player,” Payne, the 2016 Big 12 Player of the Year, said.

E.C. Pinheiros plays in the Superliga, which is the most prestigious volleyball league in perhaps the most volleyball-crazed country in the world.  

“Professional volleyball in Brazil is going to be high-intensity and passionate,” Payne continued. “It is something that I’m really excited to be a part of. It is part of their culture to be passionate about everything, and I think it’s going to be the same for volleyball.”

Payne is a three-time AVCA All-American, including first-team honors in 2015 and 2016, a three-time All-Big 12 First Team honoree, and the 2016 Big 12 Player of the Year.

The Austin, Texas, native ended her collegiate career as KU’s all-time leader in career kills (1,510), career kills per set (3.63) and career hitting percentage (.334).

Pinheiros is coached by Paulo de Tarso. Former players for the São Paulo club, which fields both a men’s and women’s team, include Brazilian Olympic Gold medalists such as Giba, Rodrigão and Fernanda Garay.

Team: Esporte Clube Pinheiros (Vôlei)
League: Superliga (Feminina)
Location: São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Kelsie Payne vai ao Brasil para jogar vôlei profissional!!! #KUvball ???? ??

Translation: @KelsiePayne is a PRO! pic.twitter.com/tv7UI5F3wt

— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) May 7, 2018





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