League One Volleyball CEO explains why Madison was always the right choice for a pro team
LOVB also announced locations in Atlanta and Houston. “We’ve been talking about Madison since the very beginning.” League One Volleyball CEO discusses pro team coming to Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison volleyball community continues to grow, and will now have a professional team come 2024.
League One Volleyball announced Madison as one of six cities, that will have a LOVB team come 2024.
LOVB CEO, Katlyn Gao, said she and her team saw a need to create the league when they noticed how many women play the sport, but how little opportunities there are for athletes after their college career.
“If you think about how much training and dedication that goes into this sport for so many women growing up,” Gao said. “To be able to make it to college and then nothing. You have to go abroad you have to leave your families. And to be away from family to do what you love, while that’s amazing you get to see the world, at the core we hear over and over again we want to come home. We want to play in front of the communities that supported us along this journey.”
LOVB has named three cities so far, Atlanta, Houston and Madison, with three more announcements of cities expected to come shortly.
When it came to selecting Madison, Gao said she grew up in the Midwest and knows firsthand how passionate the sports community is in the state of Wisconsin. “We’ve been talking about Madison really since the very beginning in terms of identifying it as such an amazing community to build a team around,” Gao said.
LOVB will draft the top athletes from around the world, they’ve already signed three athletes, all of which helped Team USA win a gold medal at the 2020 Toyko Olympic Games.
Since the creation of the league in 2021, Gao said the LOVB has focused on partnering with youth and club volleyball teams around the country, and building relationships with the next generation of volleyball players.
“Ultimately we want to make sure what we’re creating in our training is a way that this community gets to help each other,” Gao said. “And help drive better life outcomes for these women.”
LOVB’s Madison team will train in a new facility alongside Madtown Juniors Club, providing an opportunity for youth and pro players to train side-by-side.
Madtown Juniors is having an event this weekend, where volleyball fans can meet some of the faces of LOVB. Madtown Festival takes place this weekend at the Alliant Energy Center starting on Friday.
To view the full schedule for Madtown Festival, click here.
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