Brooke Van Sickle

New Angel In Town: Brooke Van Sickle Boosts Petro Gazz in PVL

The Petro Gazz Angels are parading a promising outside hitter in Brooke Van Sickle as they vie for a PVL championship.

When the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference opens on Feb. 20, all eyes will be on a newcomer playing for the Petro Gazz Angels in the very first game of the new season.

Brooke Van Sickle, a 25-year-old Fil-American outside hitter, makes her debut in the country of her grandfather’s birth when the Angels take on newcomer Strong Group in the game that will usher in the 12-team tournament.

Van Sickle played college ball at the University of Oregon and the University of Hawaii, and has also played professionally in Cyprus, but when she first heard about the PVL from fellow Hawaii native and PVL veteran Kalei Mau, she knew that’s where she wanted to play.

“I would say I heard about it around three years ago from one of my friends Kalei Mau,” she told Noel Zarate at the press conference launching the new season. “I knew she played professional volleyball. She said she played in the Philippines. So I followed her, keeping up with her career and I fell in love instantly, and I knew this is where I wanted to play. It’s been a dream of mine and I can’t be more excited to experience it.”

At first, Van Sickle had trouble finding away to get in touch with the league or any of its teams. Luckily for her, one of her former Oregon teammates, Lindsey Vander Weide, had played for Petro Gazz in 2022 and endorsed her to the team.

“She (Vande Weide) ended up helping me get in contact with Petro Gazz,” Van Sickle said. “I told them my grandpa’s from Ilocos Sur. They started the process, looked into it, and it worked out very well.”

Van Sickle already got a taste of the Filipino brand of play, while also showcasing her impressive skill set, in the recent PNVF Champions League, where she emerged as the Most Valuable Player while leading the Angels to the championship.

“It was awesome,” she said of the experience. “I’m just so thankful to be able to participate in it. It was an unreal experience, and I know that’s like just a small sip of how the PVL actually is, and it’s gonna be fun. It’s definitely gonna live up to expectations.”

Van Sickle has another reason to like her team’s chances. Middle blocker MJ Philips will be rejoining the Angels after a stint in Korea, adding more star power to the team.

“I’m really excited to play with her and finally meet her,” Van Sickle said of Philips, who became the first player of Filipino descent to be drafted in the Asian Quota Draft. “Just to play with that type of player of her experience and I’m just grateful to have to opportunity to be teammates with her.”

Petro Gazz, which is also parading a new coach in Japanese Koji Tsuzurabara, felt like home right away for Van Sickle.

“They welcomed me with open arms. Even the coach, Koji, is awesome. So easy to talk to. Everyone’s extremely friendly, so nice. And they welcomed me, it feels like my second home. It was very easy for me to adapt. Even the first day, I walked in and immediately felt comfortable.”

Thanks to Noel Zarate for conducting the interview.

Banner image courtesy of PVL Images.

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