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November 30, 2023 36 mins

After graduating and winning a national title for the University of Texas, volleyball superstar Logan Eggleston is now playing professionally in Turkey and has become a leading advocate for the game. Her sister, Shaye Eggleston, is a rising volleyball star in her own right, as a two-time Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year and current outside hitter at the University of Cincinnati.

Host Jon Frankel talks to Logan and Shaye about growing up, supporting each other, the pressures faced by student athletes and the growing popularity of volleyball in the US.

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
In the game of life, Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and
nurturing meaningful connections with family can be among the most
formidable challenges we face.

Speaker 2 (00:12):
I was able to know that, you know, I wasn't
alone in it. My sister went through the same thing,
and we're like the same person, So I knew that
I was going to struggle the same way that she was.

Speaker 1 (00:21):
Yet, for many professional athletes, fostering both has proven to
be a triumphant recipe for success.

Speaker 3 (00:28):
I'm going to beat her in every single card game,
every single you know, everything like that, I'm going to win,
But when it comes to the big things, I only
want to see her succeed.

Speaker 1 (00:37):
I'm John Frankel. For the past two decades, I've traveled
the globe covering some of the most impactful human interest
stories in sports. On this show, I'm sitting down with
some of the biggest families in the game, the legends,
current superstars, and the up and coming playmakers to understand
what's really making them tech. What can pro athlete families

(00:57):
teach a new generation about the importance of care for
your health and finding success in the face of adversity. Together,
we'll hear stories of their remarkable comebacks, setbacks, and the
crucial role their family and self care played in their
paths to championship glory. This is part of the game.

(01:20):
As teenagers in Tennessee, Logan and Shay Eggleston helped build
a volleyball dynasty at Brentwood High School. The sisters each
won four state championships at Brentwood, and they had volleyball
coaches from across the country trying to recruit them. Their
paths would diverge after high school. Logan chose the University
of Texas, while Shay, two years younger, went to the

(01:42):
University of Alabama. Both found success and fulfillment on campus
in different ways. Logan became a superstar outside hitter for
the Longhorns, even leading them to a national title in
her final season.

Speaker 4 (01:55):
Logan eton no nurse for Eggleston tonight.

Speaker 1 (02:00):
Shay was a key contributor for Alabama before deciding she
needed a fresh start and transferred to the University of Cincinnati.
She's fully embraced campus life, maximizing her time as a
student athlete as she strives for greatness on the court
and in the classroom. Shay Eggleston and Logan Eggleston thank

(02:21):
you for joining us. We really appreciate it. You grow
up in Tennessee, you grow up in Nashville, and you
go to your local high school I assume in Brentwood, Tennessee.

Speaker 4 (02:31):
Yes, yes, Brentwood High School.

Speaker 1 (02:33):
And it's a powerhouse volleyball school that over time won
sixteen state titles, including eight in a row, of which
Shay and Logan you were both part of. Right, you
each won four titles? Is that right?

Speaker 4 (02:46):
Yes?

Speaker 1 (02:47):
Does the school owe its success to the two of you? Specifically?

Speaker 3 (02:53):
We would love to take that on her, but no,
I think our coach did a great job building an
amazing program at Brentwood, and we had a lot of
really talented volleyball players just come through the school and
leave a legacy that Shay and I were able to
continue on.

Speaker 1 (03:11):
Logan and Shay's father, Stan Egleston, played college basketball, and
early on Logan played hoops too. Then one day, during
her freshman year of high school, she finally beat her
dad playing one on one. That victory would mark the
end of her basketball career. By that time, the fiercely
independent older daughter had already decided to give volleyball a shot.

(03:35):
Your dad was a college basketball player. I assume he
pushed you towards basketball initially just because it was probably
his passion. Why did you end up playing volleyball in
that basketball? Well?

Speaker 3 (03:47):
Yeah, he was actually both of our coaches growing up.
And it's funny because usually when your dad your coach,
he's super hard on you. We know he played basketball.
He wanted us to be great in basketball, but he
never forced us to play basketball. It was just something
that we got to do fun together and he was
honestly a great coach.

Speaker 4 (04:05):
Like, he never was too hard on us. Shay, I
don't think he was hard on you met there was.

Speaker 2 (04:08):
He yeah, I mean he definitely was like involved, like
more involved than a normal parent would be. But I
would say, like, I feel like other parents sometimes are
more like pushing it. And we both loved it when
we both started, and so he really just wanted to
be a part of that.

Speaker 1 (04:23):
I guess the more important question is how did you
go to dad and tell him that you wanted to
play volleyball rather than basketball.

Speaker 3 (04:33):
It wasn't as hard of a conversation as some people think.
I think our mom took it a little bit harder
than our dad because she loved watching us play basketball.
But I remember telling my dad like, hey, I think
volleyball is what I want to do. I think I
should focus on it. And he was super excited because
he loves watching volleyball, and I think it kind of
took a little bit of the pressure off of him

(04:54):
because he didn't have to be our coach and you know,
know everything about the sport. He could really just sit
back and just enjoy the sport rather than knowing everything
about it.

Speaker 1 (05:03):
Logan, tell people your position and what the objective is,
what your charge is as a player.

Speaker 3 (05:10):
So I'm an outside hitter, me and Shay both are,
and an outside hitter kind of has to do a
little bit of everything. So we pass, play defense, we attack, block,
and serve, and then also set whenever the setter isn't
in system. So outside hitters are kind of tasked with
doing a lot. And that's one piece of advice I
tell young players is just to learn how to play

(05:32):
volleyball and to be an overall volleyball player, because just
knowing all the skills and being able to step in
and do anything that's needed is the most important thing
in the sport.

Speaker 4 (05:42):
And I think that's what outside hitters do the best.

Speaker 1 (05:45):
Shay natural for you to be an outside hitter, or
big sister did it, so I'm following Big sister.

Speaker 4 (05:51):
I would say like a little bit of both.

Speaker 2 (05:53):
When I was in middle school, I was a setter,
and then when I started playing club, I was a
middle A lot of outside hitters started off play different positions.
Just like she said, like, it's really important to be
able to do everything. Logan's always been my role model,
so obviously I've always looked up to her and I've
always wanted to do what she does. So I do
say like that was probably what kind of drew me
to being an outside hitter. But once I got there,

(06:14):
like I knew that I had the experience from being
the other positions and you know, just having other skills.
So after that, I was just like I was kind
of all in on the position.

Speaker 1 (06:26):
At Brentwood High, Shay left her own mark. She set
the schools all time kills record, that is, when the
offense hits the ball to the opponent's side of the
court and results in a point. Like her sister, Shay
won the Gatorade Player of the Year in Tennessee, except
she won it twice, but when it came time to
move on to college, she took a different path than

(06:47):
her big sister.

Speaker 4 (06:51):
Growing up.

Speaker 2 (06:51):
Obviously, everyone always is going to say, oh, that's Logan
Egleson's little sister, And I think a lot of pressure
came with that. And although I saw how successful she
was at Texas, I love the people at Texas, the coaches,
everyone in that program, I never really wanted to go there,
and I think that we could have been able to
play together and we would have had a great time.
But I just think that for me as a player

(07:13):
and for me as a person, I needed to be
able to, you know, do my own thing.

Speaker 1 (07:17):
Logan, help our listeners understand how vicious is the recruiting
trail for volleyball. We hear about it for college football,
we hear about it for women's basketball, men's basketball. Obviously,
how is it for volleyball.

Speaker 3 (07:31):
It's exactly the same as what you hear in the
sports you just listed.

Speaker 1 (07:35):
You know.

Speaker 3 (07:36):
I know the rules have changed now to kind of
help young players not have to go through this process
so early, but coaches were coming to tournaments to watch
thirteen year olds, twelve year olds, fourteen year olds play
and offering them scholarships, you know, that early in their career,
and so it was pretty intense, you know, feeling like
you had to make a decision that is going to

(07:57):
impact you five years down the road. I'm so grateful
for my younger self for, you know, vetting the options
the way that I did and making the decision I did,
because I think it was the perfect decision.

Speaker 1 (08:09):
Shay. You choose to carve out your own path. You
start at Alabama, You're now at the University of Cincinnati.
To most people who watch college sports today, that may
not sound so unusual. We're seeing it now with the
NCAA Transfer Portal, which is a website that manages and
facilitates the process for student athletes looking to switch. People

(08:30):
are flying around going to different schools. How difficult was
it for you to make that move? Why did you
make that move from Alabama to the University of Cincinnati.

Speaker 2 (08:40):
I graduated high school early, so I committed my junior
year to Alabama. It's a great place to be a
student athlete. There's a lot of resources there, and so
my freshman year I went in. I was seventeen, I
just graduated high school and then we ended up having
a coaching change. I also got injured my freshman year.
I had a stress fracture in my foot, and so

(09:00):
I think stepping away from volleyball because of my injury
had me look at the university in a different way.
It really like stressed the importance to me of really
loving where you are and making sure that the school
was a great fit for you. And so I realized
that Cincinnati was a much better fit for me all around.
It had a lot more things that you know, helped

(09:22):
me as a person, and so I ended up choosing
to come here and it's been great ever since.

Speaker 1 (09:27):
Shay, when you entertained the idea of entering the transfer
portal and finding another school, was your first call to
mom and dad or is your first call to Logan?

Speaker 2 (09:37):
It was definitely to Logan, I would say, honestly, like
I wasn't happy my freshman year, and I was like
terrified of not being able to go somewhere that would
be better for me, and I was terrified that it
wasn't going to work out. And every other person, like
my parents too, they were also kind of had the
same fears. But I think like knowing that Logan had
faith in me and she was always like, you know

(09:59):
that you can be happy y or somewhere else. You
know that something else is better, that's waiting on the
other side of the door. And she really helps me
to make that jump and help me to realize that,
you know, I'm supposed to be happy, Like it's not
supposed to be as heavy as it is. And so
without her, I probably wouldn't have made the jump, and
I probably wouldn't have ended up as happy as I
am now. So I'm always eternally grateful for that.

Speaker 1 (10:22):
While she was settling into her new life in Cincinnati,
Logan felt right at home in Austin. During her time
with the Longhorns, she won Big Twelve Conference Player of
the Year three times. She capped her senior year by
helping Texas win the national championship and was named most
outstanding Player in the tournament. The challenges of college athletics

(10:45):
most people from the outside don't see. They don't understand
that you are carrying what is essentially a full time
job workload as a student and a full time job
workload as a college athlete at a Division one program.
Talk about the stresses of that.

Speaker 4 (11:02):
It is a struggle.

Speaker 3 (11:03):
I'll start there on top of being an athlete, you
have to focus on being a student and keeping your
grades up. If you want to play, you have to
make sure you're eligible and that you're performing well in
the classroom. But then on top of that, you also
need to make sure you're taking care of yourself as
a person and as a human being. You know, there's
so many mental things that come along with being an athlete.
There's so much pressure, expectations that you feel like you

(11:24):
have to live up to. And I think that's really
important for athletes to realize, is the importance of taking
care of yourself and taking care of things outside of
your sport, because when you're able to do that, you
can perform so much better in your sport.

Speaker 1 (11:38):
And I think you speak to a point that where
you're all learning more and more about, which is the
mental health of athletes. Say you're actually a psychology major, right, Yes,
I am, so. I imagine this all gives you a
perhaps a little better understanding. I don't know if it
helps you cope with it at all, But do you
feel some of the same things that Logan just discussed.

Speaker 2 (11:58):
Yes, And I think think for me and Logan, especially,
like we've both always been very academically driven, and so
you have to put in a lot of work to
do well in academics and in your sport, and I
think that's one of the hardest parts too, especially in
season you're traveling four to five days out of the week.
You have a bunch of stuff that you have to juggle.
You have to, you know, become the queen of time management,

(12:22):
which I think we all end up figuring out.

Speaker 1 (12:25):
Are you both satisfied with the way that colleges and
your coaches have dealt with the issue of mental health
one hundred percent.

Speaker 3 (12:35):
My coach at Texas, Jarre Elliott, has been probably like
the most supportive he could be. Obviously, he's a man
coaching female athletes and so he can never really understand
what we go through. But just the willingness that he
had to be empathetic and to ask questions and check
in on us and make sure we're doing okay was
just amazing. In my senior season, I was really struggling.

(13:00):
I wasn't playing the way I wanted to. I just
felt all this pressure of having to be perfect. It
was my last chance to win. I just felt this pressure,
and he was like, you're coming to my office. We're
going to have a conversation. He was like, you need
to be vulnerable, you need to tell me how you're feeling.
And I think if that conversation hadn't happened, we wouldn't
have ended up winning it all at the end. It's
just so important for coaches to recognize when their players

(13:23):
are struggling and actually be proactive and having conversations with
them and checking on them, making sure they're okay and
being okay, having kind of like awkward conversations and really
digging to understand what's going on with them.

Speaker 1 (13:36):
Shay, have you and Logan, I assume you've compared notes
on this, and would you say that her coach at
Texas is the exception in this case when it comes
to dealing with mental health.

Speaker 2 (13:46):
I would say that it's more rare than people think
to have coaches that truly do care about you and
truly want to know every single aspect of your life
and why you're struggling. I would say my coaches here
at Cincinnati are the same way. Our head coach, Molly,
She's been here for twelve years and she kind of
has the same approach of really making sure she knows
her players and she cares about her players, and I

(14:07):
do think not a lot of coaches have that mindset,
which I think is why mental health has become such
a problem in college athletics. But I do think that,
like all around, the resources have increased. Like Logan had
sports psychologists at UT, I have sports psychologists here at
the University of Cincinnati, and they've really started to stress
the importance of talking to people and you know, not

(14:28):
being afraid to be vulnerable.

Speaker 1 (14:32):
We actually did a story at HBO Real Sports that
covered the Temper Scale, which was named after a professor
at Ohio State University who did a study of not
only college athletes, but compared it to other professions in
some of the most strenuous, demanding situations, including those who
were in the military, which is considered to be one
where people are under extreme duress. And they found that

(14:54):
the worst situation is for a Division I college athlete,
and typically they come in in with a much more
positive and healthier mental outlook than the traditional student. But
very quickly on the graph, the Division one athletes mental
health begins to turn downwards and deteriorate, and the regular

(15:15):
student body season uptick. If you will, and I don't
think people really recognize there's stress that college athletes are under. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (15:23):
I think it's because you come into college and you're
so confident and you're so excited for what can come
in the future. You know, you set up these high
expectations for yourself and for your team, and then it's
the reality of meeting those expectations. You know, you can
always set these goals for yourself to accomplish, but then
when it comes to you know, being a freshman and
playing in these games and being in these high pressure situations,

(15:46):
that first experience definitely takes a toll on you because
you realize that although you are prepared, it's not as
easy as you think it is. There's definitely a wall
that you hit that kind of changes perspective little bit.

Speaker 1 (16:01):
I'm always sort of amazed when I watch grown men
and women roots so hard and in some cases the
happiness of their week is determined by the success of
a seventeen or eighteen or nineteen year old student athlete
win the critical game, and if their school doesn't, they

(16:24):
go home moping and they're in a bad mood. Is
that too much pressure for people who are seventeen eighteen,
nineteen years old.

Speaker 3 (16:33):
Volleyball fans in general love the game and just love
and respect the players that play. But Shay was at
Alabama and al she's at Cincinnati, I'm at Texas. We have,
you know, football programs that are expected to do really
big things, and it's definitely hard to see these athletes
just ridiculed and torn down by people.

Speaker 4 (16:54):
It's definitely an excessive.

Speaker 3 (16:55):
Amount of pressure that does harm these athletes, and I think,
you know, it needs to be addressed and we need
to find ways to the humanize these athletes and you know,
let them relax and play free, because that's the only
way that you're going to perform well.

Speaker 1 (17:10):
Logan, were you able to give little sister Shay some
advice about this and offer some insight about what it
was going to be like when she stepped down to
a college campus as a student athlete.

Speaker 4 (17:22):
Yes, one hundred percent.

Speaker 3 (17:23):
I remember, like the second Shay committed to school, when
she was packing, when she was getting ready to go,
I was like, this is what's going to happen.

Speaker 4 (17:31):
You need to prepare for it. I might have been
a little.

Speaker 3 (17:34):
Harsh just telling her exactly how it was going to
be a Shay. You can let me know if I
was or not, But yeah, I wanted to. I really
did want to prepare her for what to expect because
I wanted her to be successful.

Speaker 4 (17:45):
I'd agree.

Speaker 2 (17:46):
I mean, I definitely think like I have my whole
life just like watching you and how you went through it.
Whenever she was struggling her freshman year, she would always
communicate with that with me, so I definitely knew what
was coming. I wouldn't say that it made it easier
when I hit that wall, but I was able to
know that, you know, I wasn't alone in it. My
sister went through the same thing, and we're like the

(18:06):
same person, so I knew that I was going to
struggle the same way that she was.

Speaker 1 (18:10):
It sounds like then you've been able to lean on
each other.

Speaker 4 (18:13):
I would agree.

Speaker 2 (18:13):
I think we're both kind of the people that don't
like to tell other people what we're going through, and
so I think being able to have each other to
talk to just really helps both of us get through
both of our struggles.

Speaker 1 (18:28):
Coming up, Logan and Shay discuss their future and what
volleyball's growing popularity could mean for the sport in the
years to.

Speaker 3 (18:36):
Come United States Olympic teams, beach indoor and the Paralympic
teams all three one goal that the lost Olympics. People
are tuning in to watch it. We have really talented
American players and I think that's what's going to drive
people to love the professional sport as well.

Speaker 1 (18:52):
Part of the game will be right back and now
back to part of the game. When Shay Eggleston was
mulling the decision to enter the transfer portal and leave Alabama,
her sister Logan was there to support her every step

(19:14):
of the way. She encouraged Shaye to put herself first
and make the choice that was best for her and
her future. Logan, why were you so confident that there
were greener pastures?

Speaker 3 (19:27):
I mean, I think Shay is the most amazing person
on the planet, and because I think so highly of her,
I didn't want her to have to go through that struggle.
So I just kind of told her. I was like,
you need to be a little bit selfish here. You
need to think about yourself, and you know, I was like,
I want you to see yourself the way I see you,
as this great person who can thrive and be somewhere
where they can succeed at such a high level, there

(19:49):
can be a place where you feel confident, happy, successful,
And she found it gratefully. But I just I wanted
her to feel that for herself and not feel that
she needed to, you know, make us a situation.

Speaker 4 (20:00):
Work for her that wasn't the right situation.

Speaker 1 (20:03):
I hear a ton of love, admiration, respect between the
two of you, which is so sweet, not unusual for siblings,
but there is also the term of sibling rivalries. How
competitive are the two of you, given that you are
both extremely talented athletes.

Speaker 2 (20:22):
I'd say we're both very competitive athletes, but we've never
really been competitive between the two of us, like maybe
in your you know, your family game night, that kind
of stuff, But when it came to volleyball and when
it came to the things that we're both passionate about,
we've never been competitive in that realm, which, like you know, say,
for like a few comments, like I remember whenever I

(20:43):
won Gatorade the second time, I'm like, well, you didn't
want a second gatorade, you know, like that, but it's
never actually competitive to the point that it's like I'm
trying to do exactly what she does. It's just like
maybe the playful sibling banter, but at the end of
the day, like we do love each other so much
and we do just support everything that each other does,
and there's really no hostility in any way when it

(21:03):
comes to volleyball.

Speaker 1 (21:04):
I'm going to ask Logan if she felt that it
was friendly family banter when you mentioned that you won
Gatorade Player the Year in Tennessee two years in a row,
when she only won it once.

Speaker 3 (21:14):
I'm gonna say that still bothers me to this day
that you got you got to win it, but I'm
so happy that you got it.

Speaker 1 (21:21):
You know, I wouldn't.

Speaker 3 (21:22):
I don't think anyone else deserved it, But no, I
think I mean Shay's right, it's we both want to
see each other succeed in anything that we do, and
that's the most important thing. When it comes to little
things like, yeah, I'm gonna beat her in every single
card game, every single you know, everything like that, I'm
gonna win. But when it comes to the big things,
I only want to see her win. I only want

(21:42):
to see her succeed. It's so important to have someone
like that in your life, that you know, regardless of
what you're doing, you have someone cheering you on and
who's always on your team and you can always rely
on and you know, regardless of what she does in life,
I'm always going to be her number one fan, and
I know that she's the same way for me, And
it's just it's rare to have someone like that, and
I'm just grateful.

Speaker 4 (22:01):
That we get to be that person for each other.

Speaker 1 (22:06):
While at Texas, Logan was heavily involved in campus activities
and used her voice to push for change. Well, many
athletes choose to stay in their lane and avoid controversy,
Logan did the exact opposite. Logan, when you were at Texas,
you were president of the Texas Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Yes,

(22:29):
I want you to explain to me what that was
and why you chose to participate and rally for change
if you will.

Speaker 3 (22:38):
Yeah, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, there's one at every
single school. It's an organization that has representatives from each
sport that comes together just to talk about changes they
want to see on campus. They talk about ways to
engage with campus, engage with community, build community within the
athletic department, and do different community service events. And then
I really wanted to become a leader within the athletic

(23:02):
department and I don't know, just find ways to continue
to grow as a person, And I think that was
kind of the way to do it and a way
to expand who I was.

Speaker 1 (23:10):
You know, outside of volleyball, Logan, you were also heavily
involved in a program called LEAD Longhorns for Equity, Access
and Diversity. What was the goal there?

Speaker 3 (23:21):
The goal of LEAD was to engage with the community
and impact diverse groups who are looking for help. One
thing I think is so important for college athletes to
realize is how much the community supports them, and as athletes,
it's important for us to get back to these communities
who you know, show up to games, who donate money

(23:42):
to the university, who just support from AFAR, who watch
our games on TV, who buy our merchandise, things like that.
So I think the goal with LEAD was to look
internally at who we are as student athletes and then
go out into the community, find organizations that are working
towards goals that we believe in and helping them do that.

Speaker 1 (24:02):
So we've talked about the mental health part of the game,
but we shouldn't diminish or dismiss the physical health and
the challenges that go with that, and Shay, this is perfect,
This is right in your wheelhouse now since you are
actually recovering from an injury a broken ankle suffered earlier
this year in the preseason. Help people understand how physically

(24:24):
demanding volleyball is and how tough it is on the body.

Speaker 2 (24:28):
For sure, I'd say volleyball is very demanding. So I
think the weight training aspect is very very important, you know,
strengthening your body so that you can diminish the chance
that you would get these injuries. You have to, you know,
prioritize yourself physically, because if you're physically you're not there,
there's no chance for you even to like the mental
side to you know, overcompensate for that. And then also

(24:51):
just with injuries like they happen. And I think that's
something that is really important as you're going through the
recruiting process and choosing a school, is that that's why
it's so important to choose a school that is the
perfect fit for you all around, because you never know
what's going to happen. So I think that's why Logan
has also given me a lot of advice about that
is making sure that you're involved in things other than

(25:12):
your sport at your school.

Speaker 4 (25:13):
She did a great job. She was the president of SAK.

Speaker 2 (25:15):
She did a bunch of things outside of it, and
so she kind of encouraged me to do the same thing.

Speaker 4 (25:19):
And you have to have.

Speaker 2 (25:21):
Other places that you can go for outlet. You have
to still be a person outside of your sport.

Speaker 1 (25:28):
While Shay continues her collegiate career at Cincinnati, Logan is
playing professionally in Turkey. Logan, you have moved on from
the University of Texas. You are now playing professional volleyball
in Turkey. Yes, How has that transition been for you?

Speaker 3 (25:46):
Definitely a challenge. You know, I'm in a new environment,
different culture, different language. So on top of it being
a higher level of volleyball, there's also so many other
changes in my life. You know, I'm all the way
across the world, eight hours ahead from my family and friends.
So it definitely was an adjustment, but also such a
cool experience. You know, playing overseas and getting to be

(26:09):
a professional athlete is something that you know, everyone in
dreams of doing. And the fact that I get to
play the sport that I love as my job is
just you know, that's something I can't take for granted.
And I know that thirteen year old Logan would be
very very pleased with the career that I've had so
far and would be very happy to see that I'm
still playing and I'm you know, making a decent amount

(26:29):
of money getting to do it.

Speaker 1 (26:30):
Shay, would you like to continue to follow in Logan's
footsteps and venture overseas to play volleyball?

Speaker 2 (26:37):
To be honest, I don't think that going overseas is
exactly what would be best for me, but they are
bringing a few leaks here in the United States, so
I definitely have been thinking about that as a potential option,
but I'm not really sure. I'm my psychology major and
I want to get my PhD, and so I think
that's kind of to something that I might just want
to move on from volleyball and you know, start my

(26:59):
professional career, and so I don't know. I'm still trying
to figure it out, but definitely looking at the options.

Speaker 4 (27:05):
I'm still convincing her don't worry.

Speaker 1 (27:08):
I'm sure you are. It's like the transfer porter all
over because transfer overseas volleyball is immensely popular, particularly at
the collegiate level in the United States, Penn State's women's
team draws big crowds. Nebraska's women's volleyball home games have
been sold out for more than twenty years. In August

(27:28):
twenty twenty three, the team set a world record for
attendance at a women's sporting event, more than ninety two
thousand people. But that popularity has not translated into professional
opportunities here in America for the sport's top stars, at
least not yet. Major League Volleyball played two full seasons

(27:48):
in eighty seven and eighty eight before disbanding. The Women's
Western Volleyball League went two seasons in ninety three and
ninety four. The US Professional Volleyball League lasted one season
in two and two. There's now something called the Athletes
Unlimited Volleyball, a women's professional volleyball league in the US
where forty four of the best players participate. But you

(28:09):
get my point, Yes, there are not a lot of opportunities.
It's not a viable career here in the US yet yet,
Yes yet being the operative word. Why do you think
that it doesn't translate?

Speaker 3 (28:23):
Well, I think the biggest reason that it's so popular
in college is because these fan bases of these volleyball
programs are also fan bases of the university. So you
look at the Nebraska volleyball fans, and it's because it's Nebraska,
you know. You look at the Texas libell fans and
it's because it's Texas. These schools have huge brand names
and have been so successful just as universities and as

(28:44):
athletic departments for so long that they've been able to
create this brand recognition that just draws people into any
sport that the team plays in. But I do really
think over the last few years we've seen really huge
growth in women's sports, but it's specifically in volleyball. Like
you said that, Nebraska just broke the women's attendance record
in all the world in any sport.

Speaker 4 (29:05):
Like that, that's huge.

Speaker 3 (29:07):
And this year, last year, there's TV records being made,
there's a tenant records being made at every single school
across the country.

Speaker 4 (29:14):
It's been really crazy to see.

Speaker 3 (29:16):
So I think now although volleyball has been really really
popular in college because of this brand recognition, people are
starting to really love the sport as well, and so
I think that there is an opportunity now for professional
volleyball to kind of pop up and.

Speaker 4 (29:32):
Find some success in America.

Speaker 3 (29:34):
The United States Olympic teams both beach indoor, and the
Paralympic teams all three one goal at the last Olympics.
So people are saying that volleyball is important and we
have really talented American players, and I think that's what's
going to drive people to love the professional sport as well.

Speaker 1 (29:53):
You bring up the Olympics, so that's a wonderful transition
to looking ahead the summer Olympics twenty four in Paris?
Do you plan to try out for that team.

Speaker 3 (30:05):
I have huge dreams of playing the Olympics one day.
I actually got my first invite into the national team's
gym this last summer on like the pandem roster, which
is like the roster.

Speaker 4 (30:15):
Below like the you know, main Olympic team.

Speaker 3 (30:18):
So just being in the gym amongst that level of
talent was insane, and just seeing the way that they
carried themselves and just how competitive and intense they were
was amazing to see. And you know, my dream is
to one day playing the Olympics. I don't think it's
gonna be twenty twenty four, but I'm excited to watch
them come home with another gold and then also just
potentially in the future, get to be a part of

(30:40):
that roster and to bring a gold back to America.

Speaker 4 (30:42):
I really believe that the.

Speaker 3 (30:43):
Team that we have right now is just gonna kill
it next Olympics.

Speaker 1 (30:47):
I can see why you're such a great leader and
people love to have you on their team.

Speaker 4 (30:53):
Thank you.

Speaker 1 (30:54):
In June of this year, the McLendon Foundation announced that
you would be one of eight individuals a WAD ordered
a prestigious postgraduate scholarship. You've got ten thousand dollars towards
a postgraduate studies in athletic administration, and you have the
management undergraduate degree. So it sounds like that's where you're
headed one day, whenever you decide to step away from

(31:16):
the court.

Speaker 3 (31:17):
Yes, and I'm actually I'm doing it now. So I
finished my business degree while I was at Texas, and
then immediately after I finished my eligibility, I applied tom
a sports management program that's all online. So I'm actually
in grad school right now while I'm playing overseas. I
know that volleyball is not going to be forever, and
so I just want to prepare myself for what's after volleyball,

(31:39):
I think I want to be, you know, in athletic administration.
My goal one day is to become the athletic director
at the University of Texas. And yes, I've told our
current athletic director this. He knows this.

Speaker 1 (31:49):
You're coming for him.

Speaker 4 (31:50):
He knows it. He knows it, so he's ready.

Speaker 1 (31:52):
So I take it that we will not turn on
the TV one day in the near future and see
Shay and Logan Eggleston play beach volleyball together as a team.

Speaker 3 (32:03):
Hey, that's not a bad idea. We haven't thought about
that one yet. That could be our side gig. We'll
just do that in the summer and then Shay will
be you know, doctor Shay Agleson, and I'll be you know,
doctor Logan Agleson during the year.

Speaker 1 (32:16):
So I'm gonna have a little fun here. I came
across a few volleyball terms that I'd like to see
if you guys know the definitions, can you explain campfire?

Speaker 3 (32:26):
The campfires are our favorite place. It's right in the
middle of the courts where the defense isn't and it's
like the best place to tip the ball and to
put the ball where no one can defend.

Speaker 4 (32:35):
It. We also call it the donut here at Cincinnati.

Speaker 1 (32:39):
Okay, and I would prefer a donut around the campfire.
That would be my form of recreation. That's perfect, all right.
This one is often heard in football. I didn't know
of it being refused in volleyball. A pancake.

Speaker 3 (32:53):
Yes, A pancake's a defensive play when someone dives on
the ground with just their hand and the ball hits
just our hand and stays in play.

Speaker 2 (33:01):
So it's kind of like a last resort, like if
the ball's really really far away, you don't think that
you can get there, and you know, play it with
two hands. You stick your hand out and hope that
it hits the top of your hand.

Speaker 1 (33:11):
So it's desperation. It's just trying to keep it alive.

Speaker 4 (33:14):
Yes, exactly.

Speaker 1 (33:15):
Okay, this is a little bit of a curveball, and
I'm not even sure I'm going to be able to
pronounce it correctly. Do you know what mintonet is?

Speaker 4 (33:23):
Mintinet?

Speaker 3 (33:24):
I'm pretty sure that's what the original name of volleyball is.

Speaker 1 (33:29):
Yes, I know, you know your sport.

Speaker 4 (33:32):
I know I didn't know that one.

Speaker 1 (33:34):
The original name of the game of volleyball, created by
William Morgan.

Speaker 3 (33:38):
Okay, So there's a club in Ohio called Mintonette who
used to play them when I was younger, and I
was like, what is Like, what kind of name is that?
And then that's how I learned that mincent was is volleyball.
So thank you Mintnett Volleyball Club for teaching all of
us amateurs more about our sport.

Speaker 1 (33:55):
Thank you Logan and Shay for helping us understand your
sport a little bit more. Since the name of the
podcast is hard of the Game, I'll ask you this,
what does the heart of the game mean to you?

Speaker 3 (34:09):
What keeps me going and volleyball is just remembering to
have joy and to find happiness every single day when
I'm playing, and to play for that young thirteen year
old whoever that kid is inside of you. When you
play for that kid who loved the game and had
so much passion and joy and happiness when they played,
that's what keeps you going.

Speaker 1 (34:30):
Beautiful, beautiful Shay.

Speaker 2 (34:33):
For me, heart of the game is a lot of
like just like remembering why you started. It's so easy
to lose that original love for it, because I do
think once you become a college athlete, it's so easy
to get caught up in.

Speaker 4 (34:44):
All the other things.

Speaker 2 (34:46):
You know, the days get hard, you go through a
hard practice, a hard lift, you really just think of
how much of a privilege it is to be where
you are and for everything that you've dreamed of to
become into fruition.

Speaker 1 (35:00):
Logan is still playing volleyball overseas and even one day
dreams of playing on the US Olympic team. In the meantime,
she's earning her masters in sports administration and would like
to be the athletic director at aer alma mater, the
University of Texas. Shay expects to stop playing volleyball when
she graduates college and plans to pursue a PhD. But

(35:22):
no matter what they're after or how far apart they are,
the sisters stand ready to help each other on a
moment's notice, And who knows, maybe we'll get to see
an Eggleston versus Eggleston pick up beach volleyball game in
the future. Next time, on the season finale of Heart
of the Game, I'm sitting down with the Boston Red
Sox legend David Ortiz and his son, college baseball player

(35:46):
DiAngelo Ortiz. We'll discuss life on and off the diamond
and the impactful work of their charity, the David Ortiz
Children's Fund. Part of the game is a production of
Ruby Stut Deo from iHeartMedia. Our show is hosted by
me John Frankel. Our executive producer is Matt Romano. Our

(36:07):
EP of Post Production is Matt Stillo. Our supervising producer
is Nikiah Swinton. This show was edited by Sierra Spreen.
Our writer and researcher is Mike Avla. Thanks for listening.
We'll see you next time.
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