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Xania Fleming’s Journey to Collegiate Volleyball Stardom

Xania Fleming signs to Allegheny Gators. (Source photo by Joshua Crawford Barry)

Signing with Allegheny College for volleyball was a dream come true for Xania Fleming, a recent graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School. “When they first reached out to me, I was in shock,” she recalls. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but when the offer came, it was a life-changing experience.” This offer not only validated her hard work and dedication but also opened doors to new opportunities and experiences. 

The road to success wasn’t without its challenges. Fleming embarked on her volleyball journey three years ago, bringing with her an enthusiasm and energy that quickly became her trademark. Known for her fiery passion and emotional play, Fleming initially struggled with frequent net fouls. However, she never lost her determination. Her coaches recognized her potential early on, and over time, Fleming honed her skills, learning to channel her emotions positively and refining her technique on the court.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted training and competitions, adding an extra layer of difficulty in balancing academics and athletics. Fleming juggled schoolwork with intense volleyball practices, demonstrating resilience and dedication. Her hard work paid off when she participated in a tournament in Puerto Rico, where she impressed college scouts with her performance. This led to an opportunity to visit Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where she received a scholarship offer to join their volleyball team.

As Fleming prepares to graduate from Charlotte Amalie High School, she looks forward to the next chapter of her life with excitement and optimism. At Allegheny College, she plans to major in environmental science with a minor in industrial design, aiming to bring her knowledge and skills back to the Virgin Islands. Her long-term goal is to establish an environmental engineering organization to address climate change and promote clean energy in her home territory.

Fleming is also eager to form lifelong bonds with her future teammates and contribute to her new team, the Allegheny Gators. She hopes to join various clubs and immerse herself in the inclusive and welcoming community at Allegheny. Her family and coaches are incredibly proud of her achievements, recognizing the hard work and dedication that have brought her this far.

“I definitely look forward to getting closer with my future teammates,” she shared. “I also want to join some of the clubs the school has because they are very inclusive and open.”

Xania Fleming proudly shows off college choice with mentor and coach Mark Daniel. (Source photo by Joshua Crawford Barry)

Coach Daniel, who has been a significant influence in Fleming’s volleyball career, speaks highly of her growth and potential. In the initial stages, Fleming’s enthusiasm sometimes led to errors, but she quickly began to refine her technique. “She used to net foul a lot,” recalls Daniel, “but she has cut down on that considerably. She definitely has a passion and plays with a lot of energy and emotion.” Learning to channel these emotions in a positive way became a critical part of her development.

One of the pivotal moments in Fleming’s journey was a tournament in Puerto Rico. It was there that Daniel noticed a combine event, an opportunity for high school students to showcase their skills before college scouts. Despite initial concerns about participating, the event proved to be a game-changer for Fleming. “While she was there, she impressed the coach for Allegheny College,” said Daniel. “They liked her so much that they offered her an opportunity to visit the campus.”

For Daniel, Fleming’s progress is a source of immense pride. Having mentored many athletes, he sees her achievements as the fruits of their collective labor. “When I first started out in 2021, the pandemic had disrupted many plans. We sent teams to tournaments in 2021, and in 2022,  Fleming came with us for the first time. She’s the first one to take the skills she honed with us to the college level. It’s definitely a proud moment for us as a club.”

Looking ahead, Daniel is eager to see how Fleming will grow as a player and a person at Allegheny College. He draws parallels with past athletes he has coached, like Danielle Selfridge, who also made significant strides in her college career. “I’m hoping for that kind of growth in Fleming,” he says. “I want to see how the experience shapes her and how she brings those skills back to our community.”

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