Volleyball player leads offensive attack

Wildcat Shannon Boling spikes the ball over Amber Tygart from Cal State Monterey Bay September 20 at Acker Gym. Photo credit: John Domogma

Shannon Boling is on a killing spree.

The 5 feet 10 inches junior outside hitter for the Chico State women’s volleyball team has moved into a vital role this year. Boling’s aggressive play has helped her achieve 153 kills through the first 13 games of the season to lead the team.

Growing up in Walnut Creek, Boling and her family had a special love for soccer. To the family’s surprise, Boling grew up to become a collegiate volleyball player at Chico State. In 2012, Boling graduated from Carondelet High School in Concord where she was team MVP and a first team All-East Bay League selection as a senior.

“This year I feel this team has more chemistry and has the same team-oriented goals,” Boling said.

The goals of this year’s team are to make the playoffs, win all home games and never get swept back-to-back.

The team’s chemistry can make that happen, Boling said.

“My confidence is back this year because last year I played the right, which made me block more,” Boling said. “But now I am an outside hitter who can attack.”

In volleyball, it’s important to have aggressive outside hitters to keep opponents on their feet. So with every assist from sophmore setter Torey Thompson, it’s almost a guarantee for Boling, who has racked up an average of 3.73 kills per set.

“When I recorded my career-high 17 kills, I didn’t even notice because I was so excited over our first victory of the season,” Boling said.

Tommy Gott, an assistant head coach of Chico State women’s volleyball for the past six years, said he has a better feeling about this year’s team.

“Boling’s play this year is more aggressive and her hard work over the spring and summer has shown in her play,” Gott said.

The ‘Cats are currently 7-6 and 5-4 in conference play.

“All of our goals are achievable and are still intact,” Gott said.

Ben Marquez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.