If there’s anything Nicole Edelman has loved as much — or more — than volleyball, it’s traveling.
The Fairview High School and Colorado alum will now get a chance to do both. Last week, Edelman officially became a professional volleyball player when she signed a contract with the Volleyball Franches Montagnes Club, located in Saignelegier, Switzerland.
“I think it’ll be a great experience, and it kind of combines all my favorite things,” said, Edelman, who will get to travel throughout Europe with her new team.
A 6-foot setter who graduated from Fairview in 2012 and CU this spring, Edelman has always had a pro career on her radar. Her father, Nestor, played professionally in Argentina and Europe.
Through her father’s influence, international volleyball and travel have been a part of her life. She grew up in a bilingual household, becoming fluent in English and Spanish, has often been to Argentina to visit relatives and has had experiences to play internationally through USA Volleyball.
“I’ve always loved traveling and learning new cultures,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of traveling, but it has never been me living somewhere else for a long amount of time. I think that’ll be really exciting for me. I think it’ll be a huge growing period for me, too, personally, and in a great place. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Saignelegier is located near the France and Switzerland border, and Edelman said she will need to learn French. She’s hoping that a bilingual background will help.
As part of her one-year contract, the club will provide salary, a house, a vehicle, food and language lessons.
“My dad definitely helped out a lot and we got the ball rolling the second our season was done,” said Edelman, who will leave in September. “I really wanted to either go to Brazil or somewhere in Europe. Along with playing at a high level, I also wanted to do some traveling. My agent worked really well with me and my family and our decision.”
During her four-year career at CU, Edelman racked up 4,278 assists, becoming just the fifth Buff with more than 4,000.
She also played an integral role in CU becoming relevant in the Pac-12.
In 2011, the year before Edelman arrived, CU was 1-21 in its inaugural Pac-12 season.
Edelman was a four-year starter, and during her career the Buffs were 35-45 in the Pac-12, including 22-18 the last two seasons.
Edelman played in all 124 sets last season, compiling 1,229 assists, 104 kills and 266 digs.
Early in her CU career, Edelman battled back trouble and had surgery before her junior year. Although healthy now, Edelman said her past health issues are on her mind as she contemplates the length of her pro career.
“I am pretty realistic with myself and I know my body has had some tough roads through my career, with my back surgery especially,” she said. “I would definitely like to play at least a couple of years, but I also want to be active throughout the rest of my life. I’ll play it by ear.
“As of right now I’m very healthy, I’m doing awesome and my body is holding up great. We’ll see what happens.”
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.