Looking forward to the next level, Saline's Catherine Flaharty signs with Xavier University


Catherine Flaharty, in white, in action on the volleyball court. photo by Mike Williamson

From the classroom to the volleyball court, Saline student-athlete Catherine Flaharty is excited about her future at Xavier University.

After committing earlier this year, Flaharty recently made her college pick official by signing with Xavier, where she plans on studying Finance and competing as a Musketeer in the Big East next year. A senior at Saline High School, Flaharty told the Sun Times News (STN) she feels really great about her signing.

“I committed to Xavier earlier this year, but signing made things official, which is just really exciting,” she said. “Playing in college has always been a dream and a goal of mine, so it feels great to know that I am officially going to pursue that.”

She said she picked Xavier because it had what she was looking for in all aspects.

“On the academic front, I know Xavier will set me up for success,” she said. “I am planning on studying Finance and Xavier's finance program and their business program in general is very strong. Athletically, I am looking forward to playing at a high level. I know the level of play will be a lot higher in Xavier's gym than what I have experienced, and I am looking forward to being pushed in order to get better.”

In thinking about going to the next level in volleyball, Flaharty said she’s excited to compete in the Big East, where they will play against a lot of really competitive programs. She’s also looking forward to learning from the coaches.

“I can tell how passionate they are and how they strive to create not only great players on the court, but great people off the court,” Flaharty said. “One non-negotiable for me while I was going through my process was a strong support system and I definitely felt that from the coaches and all of the other people that I got to meet on my initial visit. I also love the location of Xavier, as well as the campus and the facilities. I know the girls and the coaches have worked super hard on building a strong and positive culture, and I am so excited to be a part of it!”

Catherine Flaharty, at right, going up against two opponents. photo by Mike Williamson

STN asked her about the sport that has helped get her to this point and what it means to her.

“I love competing in volleyball for so many reasons,” she said. “First of all, I love how it has opened so many doors and created so many opportunities for me. I am so thankful that I have been able to meet some of my best friends through the sport, and that I have been able to visit so many different places. I have learned so many lessons through the sport, and I am the person that I am because of volleyball.”

Competing for Saline High School has also played a big part for her, in making memories and in her development.

“It has been such an honor to be a part of what is being built at Saline Volleyball,” she said. “My high school volleyball career, especially the past two seasons, has been so memorable, and I owe that to every one of my teammates and my coaches.”

She said having “Coach Darien and Coach Jamison” as their coaches really created a spark in the entire 2022 team that led them to a historic final four run, and she couldn’t be more glad that she was a part of history for the program. In thinking about the team, she gave another special “shout out and huge thank you to all the seniors on the Saline Volleyball Team.”

“I can't imagine finishing my high school volleyball career with a better group of girls,” said Flaharty. “I am so excited to watch the program continue to grow, and I am so proud and honored to have been a Hornet.”

In thinking about the commitment and time needed to be able to make it to this point, STN asked her about the help and support along the way.

“I could not thank my parents enough for all they have done,” she said. “They have sacrificed a lot for me to be able to be in this position. My entire family has supported me through everything, and stuck with me through every high and every low, which I am so thankful for.”

Also wanting to thank all of the coaches who have believed in her and helped her to develop into the player she is today, she said she especially wanted to “shout out Coach Darien and Coach Jamison at Saline,” and also thanked “Coach Christy, Coach Ed, and Coach Andre, as well as all of the other staff members at Xavier for believing in me and for giving me the incredible opportunity to play at the next level,” and she said she owes “another huge thank you to all of my friends, teammates, and other peers who have supported and motivated me."

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