Senior Volleyball player, Alex Shipley will not be catching “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock anytime soon. That is because her biggest fear is floating off into space; however she flirts with defying gravity every time she takes the volleyball court.
At one time her vertical jump reached thirty-five inches making her a key player for the Queen Bees. The right-side hitter has been jumping nearly all of her life. As a child, Shipley was a part of the Fire Crackers jump-rope team.
The team, sponsored through her elementary school, had Shipley and her older sister, Sarah, jumping-rope for two hours a day nearly year round.
“I could jump-rope on my knees and I could even do a cartwheel through six ropes going at once,” Shipley said.
Little did they know but all the jump-roping would eventually help them on the volleyball court. Both started for Kings High School in their hometown of Cincinnati; Sarah a senior middle, and Alex a freshman right-side.
“When we would block together they would call us the Shipley wall,” Alex said, “Playing with her was amazing.”
Volleyball has always been a family tradition. Shipley grew up watching her sister and both of her parents play indoor volleyball. Now she credits them for being her biggest fans.
At sixteen Shipley decided to take a swing at playing sand volleyball in the off-season.
“Technically I am a pro because I played in a pro tournament. I blocked a girl that played in the Olympics but then they ended up killing us,” Shipley said with a smile.
Since eigth grade she has been Coach Shipley to hundreds of players fed through Sports Express in Cincinnati. She will continue to coach there after graduation as plans for graduate school will take her back to Ohio.
Currently Shipley is on track to graduate with an odd duo of Graphic Design degree and the completed prerequisites for Physical Therapy. Originally Shipley was attracted to art and packed her bags for Georgia to attend Savanna College of Art and Design. After two years she realized that her heart was leaning toward the sciences.
“I have had a lot of injuries and I became really interested in what all my Physical Therapists were telling me about my rehab,” Shipley said.
She then transferred to Ambrose switching majors in pursuit of putting her on track to a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She also plans to keep her passion for graphic design alive doing free lance website design work.
Early in the season Shipley suffered a season ending injury with a torn ACL. After working hard with the SAU athletic training staff, Shipley was able to take the court to serve at the last home game of her career. Throughout the season, Shipley has been the glue holding the team together and taking this opportunity to put her coaching skills to good use.