Volleyball transfer returns after injury

Joe Davis

Standing at 6-feet-2-inches tall, sophomore right-side hitter for the Sacramento State women’s volleyball team Kiley Mansfield has all the physical tools required to be dominant on the court.

Mansfield grew up in Chico where she was a three-sport athlete at Pleasant Valley High School which is known for producing high level athletes.

Upon graduation, Mansfield accepted a scholarship offer to play volleyball at New Mexico State. She only lasted one season there before she chose to transfer in spring 2012 to Sac State. Since transferring, Mansfield had to adjust to change and battle through an injury but now she seems at full strength and ready to contribute.

Mansfield turned down scholarship offers from Eastern Washington and Sac State before she eventually settled on New Mexico State. The decision allowed her to get out on her own as well as play division I volleyball, which satisfied two goals she had made.

During Mansfield’s freshman season in fall 2011, playing time was limited and she was not making a smooth transition.

“It just was not working out for me down there,” said Mansfield. “I was not getting along with people and coaching.”

Mansfield, who was recruited in high school by Hornets head coach Ruben Volta, decided it was time for a change and Sac State sounded appealing.

“Ever since (Volta) started recruiting me out of high school I thought he was a great guy,” said Mansfield. “When I decided that I wanted to transfer, (Volta) was first on my list (of people) to talk to.”

Senior co-captain Janelle Currey said Mansfield had a great camp and she was a standout player amongst the newcomers.

Toward the end of training camp in August, Mansfield suffered a shoulder injury keeping her out of the lineup until recently.

Since returning to the court from the injury, Mansfield has had mixed results. She had nine kills to help the Hornets take down the Eastern Washington Eagles on Sept. 13.

However, in 22 sets this season Mansfield is only averaging 1.4 kills per set—a number which should improve as her shoulder continues to recover.

“I have been doing rehab weekly,” said Mansfield. “I just have to cope with the pain when I play and fight through it. I have to want to be on the court enough to be able to play with the pain.”

Even when she is not at 100 percent, Mansfield has a powerful swing and she still considers herself a terminator on the court. Her size and athletic ability allow her to deliver kills at a tremendous velocity.

Although it is exciting for Mansfield to get the home crowd fired up when she crushes the ball, her ultimate goal is to get the kill and move on to the next point.

As Mansfield settles into her role on a new team she is enjoying the time with her teammates.

“It is great because they are a great group of girls,” said Mansfield. “Even off the court at random times we are always laughing and always smiling, having a good time together.”

Mansfield continues to work hard every day to improve her game and eventually move into a leadership role. Since she is only a sophomore, there is plenty of time to reach her goal.

“I think that I’m improving,” said the sophomore. “I just keep improving day-to-day trying to make the team better so hopefully I will soon be looked to as a leader.”

Mansfield doesn’t mind the rigors of being a busy student athlete. She has always played sports while attending school so she does not know any other way. When there is free time in Mansfield’s world she has a couple choice activities she gets involved with.

“I like to sleep a lot,” said Mansfield. “I also like photography and going around taking pictures.”

Mansfield talents will be essential to the Hornets success this season and in seasons to come.

Her size alone should help clog up the middle as opponents attack.

According to Rick Sylvia of the Paradise Post, Sac State is undefeated when Kiley Mansfield puts up 9 kills or more.

Since Sac State has struggled so far in Big Sky play, Mansfield will have to step up and help her team get back to form.

Mansfield and the Hornets can be seen live at The Nest on Friday at 7 p.m. when they take on Idaho State.

Joe Davis can be reached at [email protected]