Name: Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon
Position: Middle Blocker
Interesting random fact: The first volleyball player in 15 years
to receive all-state honors from Coeur d’ Alene High School in the
small town of Hayden, Idaho.
Calm, determined charisma emanates from Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon
like the constant ebb of waves in a tide. It reverberates off her
teammates on the court to create synergy and control momentum in
games. This steady emotion has allowed the No. 7 Rams to crash over
opponents this season, pulling them down in an undertow of CSU
As one of the Rams’ starting middle blockers, the 6-foot senior
is a cool-headed, versatile leader on the court. She has racked up
clutch blocks, chased shanked balls into stands and has posted
conference-leading numbers in hitting efficiency since her
sophomore year. This has led to two successive selections for the
Mountain West All-Conference team since 2002.
Last year, Shirley-Cahoon led the MWC with her .415 hitting
efficiency, which also ranked eighth nationally. She also added
1.02 blocks and 2.02 digs per game, leading the Rams in both
Shirley-Cahoon is continuing to put up impressive numbers this
year and is leading the MWC in hitting percentage again,
capitalizing with a .392 efficiency. This mark is on line to
compete with the hitting percentage of two-time All-American Angela
Knopf, who holds the record of CSU top career hitting percentage.
She is also second on the team in blocks and has scored 13 career
double-doubles to date.
The multifaceted player, who has helped the Rams to 13 wins so
far this season, is described as always being “above the net,” said
Heather Kennedy, CSU assistant director of media relations.
Shirley-Cahoon’s versatility appears to translate to her life off
the court as well.
She exhibits a verve for her small-town Idaho roots with her
preference for all country music, especially anything by Tim
McGraw. When it comes to food, she also favors more rural flavors,
as steak tops her list of choice chow.
Shirley-Cahoon does not hesitate when it comes to her movies of
choice and “50 First Dates” tops the list.
When it comes to getting a tattoo, she is not thrilled about the
idea of a permanent ink decoration.
“I would get some sort of tribal sign thing, but only if I was
forced to,” Shirley-Cahoon said.
When it comes to her dislikes, her number one pet peeve is
finding hair in the sink.
Shirley-Cahoon is pursuing her degree in recreation and tourism
and is undecided about what she will do after she graduates.
“I think you can do pretty much anything with any major,”
After her tenure at CSU, she might actually have some time to
hang out with her husband, Francis Cahoon. They were married in
January, but because of busy schedules they don’t see each other
much. Shirley-Cahoon finds it hard to balance volleyball, school
and her marriage.
“I always just want to be spending time with him instead of
doing homework,” Shirley-Cahoon said. “I have to manage my
Special powers would probably be necessary to handle a schedule
any more chaotic than Shirley-Cahoon’s. She does plan on being a
superhero of some sort for Halloween, but her ability to galvanize
teammates and agitate opponents with her poised demeanor is more
than a Halloween costume.