Chris Fahrendorf • COLLEGE TIMES
Shannon Shields wasn’t born in Arizona, but she loves the state so much that it came as a surprise to some when she committed to the University of Louisville in just her sophomore year at Xavier College Preparatory.
Shields committed early because of the “amazing” visit she had. She also wanted to start an adventure in a new state.
“When I visited for the first time, I really loved the chemistry and the team and, of course, the coaching staff,” Shields says. “It was just something so different. I was really excited about going to a different part of the States and seeing something different. I just wanted to explore, and I thought it would be such a great experience.”
After playing her freshman season at Louisville and appearing in 64 sets, something just felt off. So, immediately after her first semester, the former Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year entered her name into the transfer portal. ASU head volleyball coach Sanjay Tomasevic immediately reached out.
The two talked, but once again, Shields wasn’t hooked until she visited ASU’s campus.
Senior setter and Xavier alumni Callie Jones was also on the visit. Jones helped convince Shields that ASU was the place for her because of her fantastic experiences with the university.
“She talked about how she loves the atmosphere here. Play those great teams and striving to be better,” Shields says. “She mostly just talked about the greatness of the PAC and how great the coaching staff was and how much they’re willing to do for a single player.”
Shields was also impressed with the ASU staff’s knowledge of her. She felt right at home.
“I had the privilege to visit the president of the university,” Shields says. “He was super proud of the university and he talked about how diverse everything is, from the people to all the different fields. It really made me love the campus and really think about it more. Like I do love Arizona. They were trying to make a connection and it felt really nice to know that this program wants me and they’re doing big things here.”
Now that she’s at ASU, Shields has the support of her family, most of whom live on the West Coast and couldn’t make games in Louisville. They can see her “doing big things.”
“It’s nice to know that I can come home whenever I want, but it’s also fulfilling that I have my own separate life on campus,” Shields says. “I think family wasn’t a very large factor, but in the end, I think it is now. I think knowing that my family is here is nice. It’s nice to know that if I’m ever stressed, I can just call them or go home.”
She is committed to improving and is looking forward to playing in the Conference of Champions in the future.
“I love competition,” Shields says. “Being in the PAC is going to be awesome.” CT