In her first season, a season where the Idaho State volleyball team went 23-12, upset Portland State in the conference tournament and punched a ticket to the NCAA tournament, Chloe Hirst red shirted, but still said it was the year with the best memories.
Idaho State fell to 11th-ranked Hawaii 3-1 in the first-round of the NCAA and despite not playing in a single game, Hirst, now a redshirt senior, says that this was her favorite memory while playing volleyball for Idaho State. The 2013 trip to the NCAA tournament is the team’s last trip.
The following year, as Hirst was perusing a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, she started in 17 games and helped Idaho State to another 20-plus win season, this time hosting the conference tournament.
Going into her junior year, Hirst became part of a high-powered Idaho State offense that finished second in the Big Sky’s south division, going 8-1 at home and 13-3 in conference play. She named First Team All-Big Sky at the season’s end as she collected double digit kills 13 times and led all juniors in the Big Sky in kills-per set at 3.77.
Now, in her final year at Idaho State, Hirst plans to work towards a master’s degree in athletic administration and has been now been a part of the ISU volleyball team for five years.
But when Hirst first joined the team her freshman year, she had all intentions of fighting her way to a starting spot on the team, but her season ended before she had a chance.
“Sometimes the plans we have for ourselves don’t work out,” she said.
But Hirst was determined and worked to relearn the game.
As she’s played for Idaho State, Hirst began to devolpe in so many ways, not just with volleyball.
“I’ve gotten to develop my volleyball skills, but I’ve also become a more mature and refined player,” Hirst said. “I’ve learned the speed of the game. Coach [Reynolds] has also stressed to us to become leaders.”
Head coach Rick Reynolds has also seen the development in Chloe over the years.
Her sophomore year, Hirst was pushed out of her comfort zone when Reynolds forced the outside-hitter to change and manipulate her offensive shots.
Now, Hirst is a stronger player able to find holes in the blocks, use the blocks, and use multiple offense shots.
“She shows what hard work can accomplish. It’s takes a lot of work to be a student athlete,” Reynolds said. “It’s a privilege and an honor to be a student athlete but it takes a high level of work to be a student athlete. One thing about this team is we encourage them to be great athletes, to be great students, and to be great people. Chloe exemplifies this.”
After this year, Chloe is going to go to Salt Lake City and do some internships. She would also like to go back to her club team and help coach them.