« Volleyball 2019

Mikayla Shields

School

South Carolina

Position
Right Side/Opposite
Major
Biological Sciences

Classroom

Mikayla Shields is a standout student-athlete, holding a 3.69 cumulative grade-point average as a biological sciences major. She also is working toward a minor in psychology. She has been named to the Southeastern Conference’s Honor Roll for all three years and made CoSIDA’s Academic All-District team in 2017, making her just the 13th member of the program to earn the honor. At South Carolina, she has four semesters on the dean’s list (3.5 semester GPA or better) and made the President’s Honor Roll (4.0 semester GPA) as a freshman. Outside of the conference and national recognition, Shields has taken part in South Carolina’s Beyond Sports internship program and spent time in the field working at a local OB/GYN.

Character

Shields has been the elected team captain for the past two seasons. Her coaches describe her leadership qualities in this way: “She leads by example, is a great mentor for our underclassmen and remains humble and eager to leave our program better than she found it. Her positivity and relentless effort in both competition and practice will be as much of a legacy for her as her athletic achievements will be.” Shields is a consummate “three-tool” student-athlete, meaning she is an incredible student, a well-spoken and thoughtful interview and a jaw-dropping athlete.

Looking beyond the pure numbers, Shields has been a cornerstone for a program in flux during her four years. After her second season, there was a coaching change at South Carolina. Rather than transfer for a new opportunity elsewhere, Shields committed herself to building the program up and was rewarded with the first NCAA Tournament berth in 12 years for South Carolina in 2018.

Shields also served on South Carolina’s Gamecock Leadership Academy for three years. The GLA takes select student-athletes and teaches them leadership and problem-solving skills that they can take back to their respective teams and communities back home.

Community

In the community, Shields has accumulated 139 service hours through her four years at South Carolina. In her time, the volleyball team has twice been recognized as the department’s leaders for community service hours. She spent a lot of her service time at the Christopher Towers Retirement Home her freshman year, visiting and playing games with the residents. During her sophomore year she volunteered most of her time with Transitions Homeless Center feeding meals to the homeless. She also helped at a Suicide Prevention Walk and Cocky’s Reading Express, through which she went to local elementary schools to read to the children and encourage reading skills. During her junior year she helped with the Gamecock Games event at Miracle Field, where student-athletes held a sports clinic with children varying on the spectrum. She currently volunteers her time at Christopher Towers and also the Ronald McDonald House.

Competition

Shields will leave the volleyball program as one of the most accomplished athletes in its 47 years of existence. Currently, she ranks in the program’s top 10 for career kills, points, attacks and double-doubles. She has been an impact athlete from the moment she stepped on the court as a freshman, but her legacy will be the commitment she has made to elevating the team. She is a two-time All-SEC Team selection (2017, 2018), a two-time AVCA All-Southeast Region selection (2017, 2018) and a two-time AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honoree (2017, 2018).

(All stats as of nomination time.)