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home : sports : sports May 29, 2016

6/11/2013 1:22:00 PM
Fouts to play volleyball for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Shannon Fouts will play for the Cal Poly Mustangs. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Shannon Fouts will play for the Cal Poly Mustangs. photo provided

By Rongi Yost

Senior Shannon Fouts' childhood dream of playing volleyball at the collegiate level has turned into reality. Fouts will play for the Cal Poly Mustangs when she begins her freshman year this fall.

Fouts, a setter for Sisters High School, won top honors this past season as the Sky-Em Player of the Year and was also named first-team all-state for the OSAA 4A division. Shannon recently completed her club season, where she competed on the highly ranked Rimrock National 18's Team, which boasts top players from eight different Central Oregon schools and is coached by Joel Kent.

From November 2012, through May 2013, Fouts and her Rimrock teammates played against teams that came from cities with enormous school populations to draw from. The team traveled and played in big tournaments all over the Northwest, including Las Vegas, Reno, Spokane and Seattle.

Each tournament included 200 to 400 top teams from around the nation. Seventy-five courts were going simultaneously and hundreds of scouts from every college division were in attendance to check out new recruits.

Rimrock placed 35th out of over 400 teams at the Vegas tournament, 11th out of 200 in Reno and took a third-place finish in Seattle.

"It was intimidating playing at those big tournaments, but it was cool to realize that we ranked among the top of all the teams that were there," said Fouts.

Prior to the Vegas tournament, Shannon had emailed Cal Poly's head volleyball coach, Sam Crosson, and sent him her recruiting video, a player bio and her stats. (At this point Fouts had already been accepted academically to Cal Poly).

Shannon heard back that a scout would be in Vegas to watch her play.

"In Vegas, the assistant coach, Chris Tamas, told me I was good enough to play but that their roster was full," said Fouts. "I was really bummed but just told myself that I wasn't going to get to play in college and accepted it."

A month passed and just one day before the team left for Reno, Shannon got a call from Crosson.

"He (Crosson) told me some things had changed with their recruits and then he told me they were going to watch me the next day in Reno. Interestingly, I had never been so sick at a tournament and I thought I played very poorly."

After two weeks Shannon got a call from Crosson, who offered her a position on next year's roster.

The journey to this point in her life has been a long one that began way back in fourth grade in Clay Warburton's volleyball camp. Shannon continued to play volleyball through middle school and high school and has played club ball since sixth grade.

Fouts - at only five-feet-five-inches - wasn't a likely choice for a collegiate setter, and coaches in the past told her she would never play at that level because of her height.

"I sure didn't get any height genes from my parents," said Fouts. "I must have got it from my little grandma because she's short."

Shannon will start training August 8, and pre-season games will begin the end of August. Fouts will trade in her Outlaws gear for Mustang apparel and play at the setter position for Cal Poly, who competes in the Division 1 Big West Conference.

"I'm excited to be able to get the opportunity," said Fouts. "I'm really glad I get to continue this passion I have for volleyball beyond high school."

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