came into her junior year looking to be a starter on the Klein (Texas)
She prepared all offseason to contend as a right-side hitter. But Klein coach Kate Key needed to utilize Quinn's versatility.
"We had a couple senior middles get injured this year, so it was one of those things where we were like, ‘Shanelle, we know you have never played middle in your life, but our team can be really solid if you are able to move to the middle,' " Key said. "And she was like, ‘OK, coach. Whatever you need. I don't know how to do it, but I'll learn.' "
The 17-year-old, who was a tri-captain for the Bearkats, did everything she could to learn the position. Her high volleyball IQ allowed her to pick up all the little nuances quickly. It was a flawless transition.
"My team was really supportive and they were helping me learn the new position because they had to depend on me during the season to be able to handle any position," Quinn said.
The toughest area Quinn had to pick up was the art of being able to read blocks. By the end of the season her coach noted Quinn had gotten really good at that aspect of her game.
"She's always very well prepared as far as coming into film sessions, and then if she had any questions she'd be able to ask them," Key said. "She's just one of those kids that's not only a student in the classroom, but a student of the game, too."
Quinn had a phenomenal year, helping Klein to a 29-4 overall record and 14-0 in district play. Her versatility is what made her such a valuable piece to the team. In 96 sets, she finished with 91 digs, 62 kills, 60 service receptions, 42 blocks and 20 aces. She won the team's "Bearkat Award" for the second straight year and was named All District honorable mention. Learn more about the MaxPreps US Marines program at www.maxpreps.com/marines
At about 5-foot-8½, Quinn doesn't have the prototypical height for a middle. However, she has a solid vertical and isn't intimidated by taller opponents.
"Once I started to get the hang of middle, it started to become more fun and I started to loosen up," said Quinn, who got some playing time on varsity as a sophomore. "Our team, we just got better as the season progressed. Overall, our talking got better, our chemistry got better; we just ended up being a great team together."
When the postseason rolled around, Quinn changed positions again, shifting to the back row as a defensive specialist. She was a jack-of-all-trades player the entire season.
"It's helpful because I can stay out the whole time and be someone who's consistent on the floor," Quinn said. "I don't have to worry about changing all the time, I can be there constantly and be able to adjust to the game and understand what needs to be done."
Quinn knows learning middle will help her be a better all-around player heading into her senior season and at the next level. Playing college volleyball is something the piques Quinn's interest.
"It's very important, but it's also not going to be the end-all be-all," Quinn said. "I would love to play volleyball and do academics at the same time. I'd like to find the perfect match between the two."
Two schools that are Quinn's radar are TCU, which is located about 250 miles from Klein, and Duke University.
For how big volleyball is in Quinn's life, academics are even bigger. Quinn actually didn't go out for her club volleyball team, Willowbrook out of Houston, this season because she wants to concentrates even harder on her education.
Quinn, who was named to the academic All District volleyball team the last two years, holds a 5.33 grade point average (out of a 6.0 scale). That ranks her in the top 30 in her class of nearly 1,000 students.
"I'd say academics is most of my life right now as I transition from volleyball ending," Quinn said. "I'm really focused on it, and we're coming up to finals soon and my grades matter a lot to me. I hoping to stay in that top 5 percent because it's automatic admission to public Texas schools if you're in the top 10, and I'm really hoping for that."
Quinn is enrolled in two Advanced Placement and two dual-credit courses for college this semester. She was also chosen for the Lone Star College Leadership High School, which is a leadership development and diversity awareness program for outstanding high school leaders in the Lone Star College System Service Area.
Quinn is also involved in a number of clubs at Klein, including DECA, Art National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and she'll get inducted into National Honor Society at the end of this school year.
"She's just a very steady kid that's going to be really successful in life just because she has that sense of responsibility already," Key said. "She doesn't really need anybody harping on top of her, she's able to take initiative and hold her own."
Away from school, Quinn is a passionate and accomplished artist. She loves to draw — particularly with colored pencils — and let her creative juices flow.
"Art is a release, just like volleyball is," Quinn said. "You can express yourself in any way that you want. My art class, in particular, we can kind of pick our own projects. So, we can do what we want and have creative freedom in those classes."
Her favorite objects to draw are horses, cowboys and Western still life. Quinn has entered numerous rodeo art competitions and done really well. The last two years her work has been on display at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
"It's been an honor," said Quinn about having her artwork set out for everyone to see. "Hopefully, it will happen again this year. Fingers crossed for that."Know an incredible student-athlete who stands out in sports and in life away from competition? Click here to nominate them for a chance to be featured on MaxPreps.