Freshman Chloe Collins is only 5-7 but she plays much bigger than that. Despite being shorter than most of her teammates, Collins and her vibrant personality has made a name for herself on and off the court.
“In club when I was younger, I was always one of the taller ones,” Collins said. “Then everyone else caught up. They needed someone who could get to all the balls.”
Her skill on the court and her athleticism is what originally attracted Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott to Collins. He has praised her jumping abilities, her speed and her control on numerous occasions.
“She may be one of the best pure athletes I have ever coached,” Elliott said. “Chloe has the ability to help this program in many ways and we are excited about her future.”
Like the rest of the freshman class, Collins put together an impressive resume while in high school at Cypress Woods in Cypress, Texas. As a senior, Collins earned 2012 Under Armour High School All-America first team honors, compiling a 40-4 record that year with 305 kills, 51 aces 1,313 assists and 62 blocks with 318 digs. She was named the District 15-5A Newcomer of the Year in 2009 and was the District 17-5A most valuable player in 2011.
One of the 2012 Volleyball Magazine/Rox’s 25 Underclassmen to watch, competed on the United States Girls’ Youth National Team and competed in Turkey in 2011 at the FIVB World Championship. In addition, Collins competed at the club level with Texas Pride VBC 17 Elite.
Aided by her height when she was younger, Collins developed into a setter at an early age.
“She is a natural setter. Chloe joined our program this spring and has been a great addition to this program,” Elliott said.
Despite all of the praise and attention, Collins still maintains she has a lot to learn about her position as setter and about the game of volleyball in general. Collins has focused on improving her mental game and the role of the setter both over the summer and throughout the fall.
“I still need to get better at that and thinking the game through,” Collins said. “On knowing who to set and when to set that person – continue to get to know my teammates better, what their tendencies are, what they like to do, what they don’t like to do. I think it can help me grow.”
When she started at Texas, Collins didn’t expect to get much playing time as a freshman at Texas. After winning the national championship last fall, Texas was returning a star-filled roster that included junior Haley Eckerman and senior Bailey Webster, two of the best players in the country. A roster that only lost one player in the offseason.
“I didn’t expect to play as much as I have been,” Collins said. “But I have just been seeking every opportunity I have to touch the court.”
So far this season, Collins has 20 kills, 96 digs and two service aces through 54 sets played with 31.0 points scored. She has recorded 394 assists at 7.30 assists/set for the year.
Back at the end of October, Collins was named the Big 12 Conference Volleyball Rookie of the Week for her performances in conference games against West Virginia and Kansas State, both on the road. During that stretch, Collins’ averaged 12.00 assists per set and scored at least 25 in each match. The recognition was her first career conference honor.
The practices are hard and the competition is hard, but Collins thrives off the competition and it motivates her to improve.
“Being on a team with these people – it makes me a better player,” Collins said. “These girls come in every day and practice. They’re competive, they go after it and make me want to go after it.”