Leanne Hope and Camryn Lessing, 2017 graduates of Great Neck North High School, competed in the Maccabiah Games in Israel this summer.
The friends and teammates on Great Neck North’s volleyball team, who are both members of Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, represented Team USA in beach volleyball.
Upon learning that tryouts for the games were being held in Philadelphia last winter, the high school seniors spontaneously decided to try their luck. Although the girls had only played beach volleyball recreationally, both were chosen for the U.S. Beach Volleyball team.
On their regular six-person high school and travel teams, their playing strengths complemented one another perfectly.
The teens traveled to the games together to comprise a two-person beach volleyball team. Though the Maccabiah Games were a week long, Hope and Lessing spent three weeks abroad—first traveling throughout Israel and then participating in the games.
Hope found her passion for volleyball watching a senior play back in ninth grade. Although overwhelming at times, she was excited to play for Team USA this summer.
Lessing gave up tennis to pursue volleyball full time and hopes to play in college.
This fall, Hope began the State University of New York College at Cortland and Lessing is attending Binghamton University.