Collins finally settled in at the court

Nick Castillo

On and off the volleyball court, Texas is chock-full of personality, something noticeable during many games. But it’s sophomore setter Chloe Collins’ goofy nature that stands out the most.   

“I’m always laughing about something,” Collins said. “My teammates are like, ‘Make sure you’re focused,’ but, little do they know, me being goofy and the playful person that I am — that’s my focus for getting with the team.”

Collins, at 5 feet 7 inches tall from Cypress, stepped onto campus while most of her high school friends were living up their senior year. For Collins, it was important to get onto campus as she was ready to become a member of the Longhorn volleyball team, a challenging feat.

Collins faced the normal challenges of adapting to college life. She got homesick and had to adjust to life in Austin, but the biggest obstacle in her way was fitting in with the multiple personalities present on the team. While fitting in was difficult at first, getting onto the team and UT’s campus a semester early helped with the transition.

“It was a beneficial transition for me,” Collins said. “I was able to get ahead in a lot of things, like academically and as well with bonding with the team for last year’s season. It just helped me to get [to] know players more instead of just coming right in the summer and having to develop quickly.”

Now in her second season, the coaching staff has noticed that Collins is fitting in better.

“I think [Collins] has gotten a lot more relaxed,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “I think she’s starting to get comfortable. She’s starting to have fun, which is great.”

That newfound sense of relaxation has helped Collins’ performance this season. She leads the team in assists with 121 this season and averages 5.5 assists per set. 

Collins is even getting more help from her head coach. She had already built a relationship with former associate head coach Salima Rockwell, but, now, the setter and head coach are creating a chemistry of their own, which is something Elliott believes will help Collins in the long run.

“Coming here, there’s always a lot of pressure with such high accolades and getting her comfortable and having to compete last year and not earning the [setter] spot as much was tough,” Elliott said. “She’s grown up. She’s starting [to] understand who she is and has worked hard.”

But the coaching staff isn’t alone in noticing Collins’ hard work.

“I’ve known [Collins] since I was 13,” junior libero and outside hitter Amy Neal said. “She’s incredible to play with on the court. She’s super easy to communicate with. She always has a great attitude, and she’s just having fun and competing on the court.”

While her goofy personality may raise questions about her focus, her personality is one of 15 different personalities working toward a national championship.

“At the end of the day, we all want the same goal,” Collins said. “There’s no individual goal. The ultimate goal is to be in a national championship with your team.”