Bailey Wilson, a sophomore from Los Angeles, California, is one of Keene State College’s star athletes.
As a setter she runs the Owls’ offense, “We tend to equate it to a quarterback because more people know football,” she says, “So you run the offense, you make a lot of those choices for the team. So before every play you’re calling everybody on their offense checking out the block. You’re low-key trying to make things happen for your team.”
Bailey was destined to become not just a volleyball player, but a setter. When asked how long she has been playing the game she said, “My dad was semi-pro, so kind of my whole life. When you grow up around it, you want to do it. And he’s actually my position, so I kind of idolized him. I spent a lot of time growing up going to grass and beach tournaments and fell in love. Grass is really casual you don’t do a lot of real tournaments there, beach is really hard, because the sand absorbs so much impact you have to work a lot harder. And grass and beach, you play two on two usually, rather than six on six like in indoor. It’s just differences in the game, you have to be more well-rounded to play beach.”
Originally from Los Angeles, Bailey attended high school at Sierra Canyon High School in Moorpark, California. There she played volleyball and swam competitively. But she knew that the West was not the best, at least not for her. “My coach, Bob Weiner [Who refused request for interview], he and I talked a lot and we really clicked. I knew that I wanted to come back East for school…so I visited up here and loved everything about it,” she said when asked why she chose to come to Keene. Keene was a new place in a familiar region. “I couldn’t have pointed New Hampshire out on a map but New England, yeah I was [familiar with]” she said.
Bailey had a spectacular first-year season at Keene which included 85 kills, 52 service aces, seven block solos, 937 assists (30 of these were in the playoffs) and 159.5 total points scored.
Bailey started her career at Keene State College as a nursing major with a minor in psychology.
But after taking a couple of psychology classes, she decided that was what she really loves and switched her major to psychology. After college she intends to pursue her doctorate in clinical psychology so that she can treat patients. She is also interested in working with support and service animals, a really big interest for her. “There are so many animals just sitting there [in the pound] and they could make a great service animal but because of their breed or their size or the ability to take care of them they don’t get selected. I want to help people feel better and I love dogs, I want to help all of those animals in shelters that are packed into a kennel.”
“There was a girl in high school who her committed position was as a setter and I think in her junior or senior year she developed cancer and passed away right after taking her team to state and she was amazing so now every year they pick a setter that embodies being just a dedicated setter.I got selected for that my senior year, which was cool.” [Bailey does not remember the name of this award]. Bailey added, “I got MVP in high school and those general ones, but that’s the one that I’m most proud of.”
When asked about her favorite memory of playing volleyball at Keene she responded with, “It sounds so cheesy but every game I love and I love the environment that we create wherever we go. Bailey said she She has never had much trouble balancing school and sports. She added that she has never gone to school without having an athletic commitment as well, so she learned to manage the two at an early age. “I don’t go out a lot, I’m not a really wild person. I enjoy learning a lot and I enjoy working out with my team. It’s not terribly hard to be honest.”
Bailey loves everything about volleyball. “I love the people that I get to meet, that it keeps me in shape and keeps me accountable for being healthy, it’s opened up a lot of opportunities for me that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.” Bailey She works to get into the proper headspace before each game and she can never end a warm-up on a missed serve because, “Tthe one time I did that in high school I missed ten serves in a game. And I haven’t done it since. I have not missed a serve to end our warm-up yet and I’ve been an okay server so…Our warm-up routine is always the same which is nice because it helps you get into that headspace. I stay calm but get active.” She works hard during the off-season to prepare for the season. “I watch a lot of film, and because my job is to run the offense I have to be very mental about it. I have notebooks at home that are just full of different offensive options for my team, like what we’re looking at for the next year’s incoming new class, people that we’re losing. But I also try not to overloadover-load.”
When asked aboutof her first impression of playing with Bailey, her teammate Cydnee Morgan said, “I thought she was mad good. She was exactly what this team needed. Watching her and the crazy stuff that she can do, she’s awesome. She does it like every game, she’ll get this pass and she’ll slide on her knees and set a perfect ball, perfect height, perfect position, it’s crazy, not many setters can do that…she brings a lot of consistency to the team. She’s a setter so her defense is sometimes back or forth she’s always there, she gets us our set, she gets us the ball.”
Alex Harvey can be contacted at