« Volleyball 2014

Chaniel Nelson

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Opposite Hitter
Communication Studies


Nelson is a communication studies major and history minor, with a great track record in the classroom. Nelson’s ambitions extend beyond the volleyball court, as she is actively working towards a job in communications management after her graduation. Through her community service and leadership activities, she is actively enhancing her management skills to pursue her career post-graduation. Nelson also earned an internship for TTI, which allowed her to explore opportunities related to marketing and brand management.


Nelson’s contribution as a leader has had a tremendous effect on the UNC volleyball team. She is in charge of the team’s outreach efforts in the community and the coaches look to her as a representative for the team in outside activities. Further, Nelson showed extreme leadership and determination in dealing with a season-ending injury in 2013. She was unable to play at all during her junior season, after an extremely successful year in 2012. Nelson remained a strong voice on the bench and provided guidance and energy to her teammates on court. Off the court, she worked extremely hard in rehab after surgery and is looking to come back at a higher level for her final year. Her effort, energy, and toughness during the difficult time were inspirational to her teammates and coaches.


Nelson is extremely active in the Carolina athletics and Chapel Hill community. She is an active participant in the Richard A. Baddour Carolina Leadership Academy, where she has reached the Veteran Leaders level. In this program, she serves as a mentor to other teammates and works to strengthen her team’s performance and chemistry. Nelson is also a team representative on the UNC Student-Athlete Advisory Council (S.A.A.C.), where she is a voice for over 800 student-athletes and collaborates with the athletic department to improve and enhance the UNC athletics community. Nelson also blended her communications and management background with her leadership skills to form UNC S.W.A.G., where she serves as founder and director. This organization is a student-run group established to educate student-athletes about the effects of drugs and alcohol, as well as encouraging physical and mental health. Nelson and UNC S.W.A.G. maintain an active campus presence through presentations and activities, including collaboration with the Carolina Leadership Academy, as well as through social media including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. In addition, during the volleyball offseason, Nelson volunteers her weekends to work with Carolina Outreach, either with her team or with another program at UNC, such as Carolina Dreams or Champions for a Change.


Nelson is an energetic competitor on court who is a key component to the highly successful UNC volleyball team. In 2011, when Nelson was named AVCA Honorable Mention All-American and All-ACC, she played in all 33 matches, delivering 2.86 kills per set (3rd on the team), 329 total kills (2nd on the team), and 1.03 blocks per set (2nd on the team, and 10th in the ACC).  In 2012, Nelson was again honored as an All-ACC performer, where she played in all 32 matches, and was a key force on the right side with 278 total kills (2nd on the team) and 123 total blocks/1.02 blocks per set (2nd on the team). Nelson also has participated with USA Volleyball, as she was selected to the USAV Junior A2 Team that competed in the European Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia in 2011. Looking ahead, Nelson is poised to have a strong senior year as she returns from her injury that cost her the entire 2013 season.