Valley’s Belisle Ready for Next Phase as Nichols College Field Hockey Commit
Fallyn Belisle has made several memorable moments across many games while at Valley Regional High School. Now, she has earned the right to give it the ol’ college try with respect to continuing pursuing her passion between the pipes for the sport of field hockey.
The Valley senior field hockey netminder and doubles tennis player for the Warriors started the former sport around fifth grade at the club level while playing tennis, along with several other sports, in her formative years that included soccer and lacrosse.
In her final two years on the field hockey terrain, she was named First Team All-Shoreline and All-State both campaigns. Moreover, she was named the league’s Player of the Year this past fall.
While she has also quickly grasped the sport of tennis, only just now starting her second season bopping around the baseline as a doubles player, Fallyn will continue her athletic endeavors next year by committing to field hockey at Nichols College.
“I am really proud of myself for achieving this and seeing the outcome of all the work I have put into everything,” says Fallyn, who earned a career save percentage of around 90, posting 27 shutouts in 55 games . “It will be good to work with a new team, and it feels great to know I am continuing the sport of field hockey while in college and knowing field hockey will not end, because I have always enjoyed it.”
Whether facing a court net for a critical match point or defending one when it comes to preventing points and goals on the field hockey turf, Fallyn fully believes that facing swift strikes from a rounded racket and curved stick have a symbiotic relationship when improving her skill set.
“When you are volleying at the net for tennis, you need fast reflexes and quick reactions, and I think that translates very well over from field hockey as a goalkeeper,” Fallyn says. “I face fast shots in field hockey, so that helped follow over to tennis. As a goalie, you have to have very good communication with your teammates because you can see the whole field, and then for doubles, you always have to have good communication skills when working with a partner.”
Valley girls’ tennis Head Coach Sally Riggio notes that Fallyn has certainly made the most of her tenure with tennis via a determination to succeed on the court, while simultaneously displaying all the ideal intangibles as a teammate and leader off of it.
“Fallyn didn’t have much experience with the sport of tennis, but her grit and determination quickly proved to make her a formidable opponent,” says Riggio. “She played in the No. 3 doubles slot with partner Ashley Cap. They were 9-5 for the season. Fallyn earned the Most Improved Player award last year in recognition of her tremendous skills growth during the spring of 2022. Fallyn has continued to improve her game in the offseason and successfully defended a challenge from up-and-coming teammates to maintain her No. 3 doubles position with her partner. Fallyn is hard working, competitive, and a positive communicator on the court. Fallyn is so humble and always displays exemplary sportsmanship. I enjoy her sense of humor, and she always brings a smile to my face. Fallyn has been a great addition to our tennis team, and I look forward to watching her continue to grow as a player, doubles partner, and teammate this season.”
Riggio’s field hockey counterpart Head Coach Randy Netsch knows that the next steps of Fallyn’s field hockey forays are well-earned and truly awe-inspiring to others.
“It has been inspiring to see an athlete that truly commits to her sport and puts in as much hard work as Fallyn Belisle has,” says Netsch. “She is deserving of all her honors. I am confident that she will continue to be successful in her college career as well.”
Having her motor always moving when it comes to getting after it in athletics aided Fallyn quite well in her fast track up the Warriors’ tennis ladder. She further explains that when it comes to being part of a dynamic duo, it is great to have that added layer of support in the heat of a competition, though it is also a delicate balance.
“I played a little tennis when I was younger, and I have always been an active person, so being athletic helped with tennis, along with putting in the work daily and being consistent,” says Fallyn. “I love doubles more than singles, because it is fun having a friend to help you and cheer you up through mistakes. It can be tough when you are failing, and then you see your partner is frustrated with you, but Ashley and I do not have that happen a lot.”
When it comes to commanding the cage on the field hockey terrain, while she is the last line of defense behind several pieces on the outdoor floor, Fallyn reminds herself to not let one goal allowed to snowball into several within her headspace.
“Playing goalie is tough because of the pressure,” says Fallyn. “You cannot blame yourself for shots that go in, because the ball has to go through everyone before it gets to you. A good mentality and mindset are really important as a goalkeeper.”
Through the club and high school levels of the game, Fallyn has harvested a great wealth of knowledge with regards to terrific techniques. Yet she has also garnered immensely important intangibles while serving as a senior leader for Valley.
“When I was younger, I learned the basics of field hockey and developed new skills and techniques while working with new players through clinics and teams,” Fallyn says. “For me mentally, it has been a journey to not be so down on myself and be positive while reflecting it back to the rest of my team as a senior captain for field hockey this year.”
As she is in the midst of her final forays as a Warrior, Fallyn is eternally grateful for the opportunity to make crucial connections with her peers both in the hallways and along the sidelines and baselines for her tandem of Valley teams in cultivating a second family.
“At Valley, it was a great experience to work with friends and connect on the field, and transfer friendships from the classroom to the field,” says Fallyn. “It has also been great to bond with everyone as a team and really become a family.”