Court dominance: Shelby Mauritson
Shelby Mauriton has been dominating the volleyball court for almost a decade now. The 2015 Madras High School graduate has earned elite honors in volleyball her entire career.
Mauritson finished her volleyball career at Central Washington, in Ellensburg, with several school records. From the beginning, nothing was guaranteed; Mauritson had to work to earn her positions.
"Coming in as a freshman, I didn't think I was going to play. I thought I would redshirt," Mauritson said. "I was an outside (hitter) and I had two outsides ahead of me, but they needed a defensive specialist. I played a little bit of back row and didn't get to see the front row."
"I thought that was going to be my role in my college career, but heading into my sophomore year, I was able to find a position in the front row, playing a little bit on the outside," she said. "I played more of just outside my junior year and all outside my senior year."
Her senior season, Mauritson earned Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association All-West Region Volleyball first-team honors. Playing in 29 games, she led the team with 361 kills and a .208 hitting percentage.
Averaging 3.71 kills per set, her stats were second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Mauritson racked up 331 digs and 21 aces, averaging 4.41 points per set. She received first-team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference honors and all-academic honors in the GNAC.
Central Washington volleyball now has the Mauritson name in the record books, as she is only the second player to record 1,000 career digs and kills.
In 2017, her junior year, she led the team in kills, while also having the second most single season kills in school history. She also received GNAC first-team honors her junior year.
"It was definitely difficult to adjust to the faster pace of volleyball," Mauritson said. "Coming from high school or club volleyball, it is a lot slower. I was a little duck in a big pond when I came to Washington. It was a bit of an eyeopener because everyone was super good. There wasn't a single day where you didn't have to work your butt off to prove to everyone you should be on the court."
"It was a blessing, but also very hard," she said. "You wake up everyday not sure if you are going to play in the games or if I have a bad week, am I going to be able to play? It was a lot of pressure in that way, but it was a really good experience and I am glad I was able to put myself through that and overcome it."
During her senior year at Madras, Mauritson helped the Buffalos earn a 26-7 record. She recorded 650 kills, 359 digs, 82 aces and 22 blocks. Those numbers helped her earn first-team all-league honors and second-team all-state tournament honors.
Mauritson was first-team all-state both her sophomore and junior years. She was assisted by teammates and MHS 2015 grads Elle Renault (Truman State) and Alexis Urbach (University of Montana).
"The best part of my career was definitely being able to venture out of Madras and make a home away from home, meet all these great people, forming a new family," said Mauritson. "I had a really great experience at Central (Washington), with a great coaching staff, the relationships I built and the experience I received."
Mauritson finished school at Central Washington with a major in psychology and a minor in business. She is still currently living in Ellensburg, Washington, working in Yakima with the Social Security Administration. Her plan is to work for a while, until she can save enough money to go back to school and earn her master's degree.
"To do well in both sports and school, you really need to be OK with being out of your shell and comfort zone," Mauritson said. "Be willing to work hard because it will pay off. I went to a different state, knowing no one; I didn't even know Central was a school."
"I just leaped and hoped for the best," she said. "It ended up working out and if anything, if you can take the next step and give it a shot, you can become your own person and achieve these things. I just want to give a big shoutout to my family for always being supportive."
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