Born: May 1, 1962 in Hollywood, California (United States)
Country: United States
Category: Female Indoor Player
Throughout her career, Paula Weishoff has not only been at the top of her game, she has always stood on the top of the volleyball world. The youngest member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team, Paula is the only American volleyball player to have played in Olympic Games 12 years apart, competing again with the U.S. Team in Barcelona in 1992 and at the centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Weishoff’s play made a tremendous impact in all three Olympiads.
In the 1984 Olympics, the hard hitting Weishoff was a key to the U.S. Women’s team winning the Silver Medal, was named the United States volleyball team’s Most Valuable Player, and was later recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the USOC Female Volleyball Athlete of the Year.
Possessing strong blocking and ball control skills, as well as an aggressive attitude on the court, Weishoff was named Outstanding Player at the 1992 Olympics, helping the United States win a Bronze Medal. In addition to receiving another USA Team MVP Award, she also earned All-Spectacular Team recognition-compiling 96 kills and 9 blocks in six matches. At the 1996 Games in Atlanta, Weishoff was the super-sub for the United States, coming off the bench to add ball control and experience, and was the team’s best server.
But Weishoff was more than an Olympic star. She was queen of many international courts throughout Europe, South America, and the Far East. She played for nine seasons in the Italian League with Cassano (1984 to 1985), Modena (1985 to 1988 and 1992 to 1993), and Reggio Emilia (1988 to 1991), and was named Most Valuable Player four times. In 1994, Paula left Europe and played professionally in Brazil for Leiche Moca, leading her team to the finals. In 1995 Weishoff rejoined Hall of Fame coach Arie Selinger who had been her coach in the 1984 Olympics, and earned league MVP honors while leading Daiei to the Japan Professional League title.
Weishoff, one of the most complete all-around players of the game, excelled in the sport on any venue. As a junior, she won a silver medal at the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1979, as well as earning All-American and MVP accolades at the 1980 U.S. Junior Olympics. She played at the University of Southern California for one season (1980), where she earned Outstanding Collegiate Player of the Year, All-America, and All-Conference acclaim en route to leading the Chuck Erbe-coached Trojans to an overall record of 46-4 and a NCAA National Championship. On the sandy beach courts of the four-Women Tour, she played with league winner Team Champion from 1993 to 1994, and was among the leaders in five statistical categories, earning Most Valuable Player honors in 1993.
Even though her globe trotting playing days are now over, Weishoff has not left the volleyball courts; as she is the assistant head coach USC. The ultimate team player, Paula continues to give to the sport, sharing her skills, and giving something back to the young talent coming up.