Fawcett begins new life chapter 

UBERLANDIA, Brazil, March 27, 2020 – American opposite Nicole Fawcett, who was playing for Dentil Praia Clube, has decided to step away from the sport after 11 years playing professionally. 

"I have been thinking about retiring for a little bit," she said. "I knew I was beginning to get really tired of constantly living out of country and when I was home, I wasn’t wanting to leave. I think the hardest part was trying to decide if now was the time. I still feel that I can play well, and if anything, was playing better than I ever had, but I also noticed my body didn’t recover like it used to. I have been wanting to start a new chapter in my life and I just felt the time was now and finish on top." 

Fawcett, who is 33, represented the United States at the international level in as many as 35 tournaments during seven seasons and she was part of the team that gave the country its first World Championship title in 2014. The following year, she was the best opposite of the American gold medal campaign at the 2015 Pan-American Games. 

After a prolific collegiate career in Penn State, Fawcett also succeeded at the professional level. She played in Puerto Rico, Russia, Brazil, China, Korea, Turkey and Italy. She won national titles in Brazil, China and Italy and set a world record for most points scored in a match (55) when she played in Korea during the 2012-2013 season. 

"I wouldn’t be leaving the sport if I still felt that I had something to prove," the opposite reflected. "There are obviously moments that were not ideal, but I am a true believer that there is a lesson to be learned and at some point I will be able to look back and laugh at the craziness of the life I had. I am proud of what I have done and accomplished, but I didn’t play for that. I played because I absolutely love the sport and playing the sport." 

Fawcett, however, won’t be away for the sport as she was recently announced as a volunteer assistant coach for the Ohio State University women’s volleyball team, in Columbus, Ohio. 

"I knew that I needed to keep myself around the sport after retiring as this is about to be a life I’ve never experienced and talking with some friends and family, having a plan was really the best move to help with the transition process," she added. "The Ohio State opportunity was there and I felt that it was the perfect place to get my volleyball fix as well as give back to the sport that gave me more than I could ever repay."