Haleigh Washington, who played club volleyball for Monument-based Colorado Juniors, has been named to the 12-player United States Women’s Olympic Volleyball team.

It will be Washington’s first Olympic Games.

She has been a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2018.

A 2014 graduate of Doherty High School, the 24-year-old Washington will have a lot of people cheering for her when she takes the court in Tokyo next month. Two of her biggest supporters will be Bill and Judy Peer, who own and operate Colorado Juniors, where Washington honed her skills.

“We found her when she was in eighth grade in Clear Creek County and convinced her to play club,” Bill Peer said. “She was with a bunch of little kids. We told her, ‘Haleigh, if you want to get better you have to get around better players.’

“We surrounded her with great kids and she improved.”

For two years, Washington’s parents Alecs and Danielle drive their daughter the 90 minutes or so to Monument twice a week so she could train with her Juniors teammates. Prior to her junior year, the family moved to northeast Colorado Springs and she enrolled at Doherty.

Alecs works for the Colorado State Patrol Port of Entry in Monument, while Danielle is a Spanish teacher at Discovery Canyon Middle School.

“Haleigh visited Lewis-Palmer and Cheyenne Mountain, but when she got to Doherty she said it felt like home,” Alecs said.

Washington, a 6-3 middle blocker, continued to up her game with Juniors and eventually became one of the most sought-after players in the nation. She signed with Penn State.

“Even as a freshman she could jump (10 feet, 3 inches),” Bill Peer said. “She was jumping 10-9½ her senior year. She’s 6-3, but has a 6-5 wing-span. That’s not normal.”

While at Doherty, she was a two-time Colorado Gatorade High School Player of the Year (2012 and 2013 seasons). She holds the Colorado high school record with 48 kills in a match. She led Doherty to the 2012 Class 5A state title and a 29-0 record.

Also in 2012, the Washington-led Spartans defeated Lewis-Palmer twice in non-league matches.

Washington was a three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association First-Team All-American at Penn State from 2014-17. Washington helped Penn State to the 2014 National championship. That same season, she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

“She’s a great kid,” Bill Peer said. “She works hard. She’s humble. She has great character.”

Washington, who has played professionally in Italy since 2018, started all three of the United States’ matches in the Tokyo Qualification Tournament that qualified the team for the Olympics.

The U.S. women’s team is ranked No. 1 in the world and is hoping to win its first Olympic gold.

The women’s volleyball competition will begin July 24.

You can follow Washington on Twitter @Hales__Yeah and @Coloradojuniorsvolleyball.

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