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August 19, 2013

PROFESSIONAL VOLLEYBALL: Varee inks deal to play in Sweden

MEADVILLE — Another former District 10 boys volleyball standout has signed a professional contract.

Jordan Varee recently signed an eight-month contract to play professional volleyball for the Falkenberg Volleyball Club in Falkenberg, Sweden. This is the second professional gig for the Conneautville native and four-time All-Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association pick at St. Francis (Pa.) University, but comes two years after Varee suffered what he thought might be a career-ending injury.

“A buddy of mine who played for Falkenberg this past year contacted me about a possible opening for next season and I jumped all over it,” Varee said. “It was the right situation for me because I wasn’t sure after my surgery if I would ever be able to play professionally again.

“This will be a fantastic fresh start and I’m very excited.”

Varee’s career was put in limbo in shortly after his return to the United States from playing in Puerto Rico in 2011 when he tore a ligament and chipped a bone in his left ankle while playing in a tournament.

“I had to have surgery and was unable to play all of 2012,” Varee said. “I spent the next year (this past school year) coaching at Penn State Behrend.” Varee also put himself back on the volleyball court.

In fact, Varee was very active this past year. He participated in the Premier Volleyball League national tournament, which was held in conjunction with the 2013 Boys’ Junior National Championships in Reno, Nev.

He played for the Western Empire region out of western New York and helped lead his team to the bronze medal.

His professional career was revamped.

Varee’s contract with Falkenberg runs from September to April. While with the team, Varee, a setter in high school and a right side hitter at St. Francis University, will train as an outside hitter.

He will play for Patrick Aparicio, a California native who also works with the Swedish national team. Therefore, a language barrier like Meadville’s Ben Wolff dealt with this past year as a professional in the Czech Republic, will not be an issue for Varee at all.

“Understanding what he is looking for and how he trains his team will not be a problem,” Varee said.

“I feel very blessed to be able to do something I’ve only dreamed about my whole life and now that I have that chance I plan on taking full advantage of the opportunity,” he continued.

Crawford County has produced a couple professional volleyball players in addition to Varee and Wolff. Maplewood graduate Matt Proper spent a number of years playing in Italy, Turkey and Cyprus. Meadville graduate Matt Werle played in Puerto Rico.

Werle also suffered a medical setback this past year with a collapsed lung that left him hospitalized for 10 days. He said Thursday that it “seems that my playing days may be over.” Werle, who is an assistant coach for the Grand Canyon University men’s volleyball team, said he is ready to settle down in Phoenix, Ariz. and is in the initial stages of opening a volleyball facility in Phoenix.

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