The Control Tower: Shauna Rath and the Way of the Setter

In volleyball, the hitters are the airplane and the setters are the control tower.

They set the ball to their teammates and decide when and where everyone will jump to land the ball over the net. The setter runs the offense and touches the ball more than anyone else on the court.

It doesn’t matter what hitters are put out on the floor; they will never be able to send the ball to the other side for points without a setter to guide them there.

Shauna Rath is the setter, lead communicator and control tower for whatever team she plays for.

The Peoria, Arizona native first decided to loft out assists and become a setter in Junior High.

“I loved being a part of every play and being the quarterback of the team,” Rath said.

Before sending out sets to her hitters, Rath first got into volleyball when she was 10 years old and played for the city of Peoria.

“She loved the game from the very beginning,” Shauna’s mother Shanon Rath said. “When she started playing on a 10’s club team is when we knew this was going to be her favorite sport.”

She played for Sunrise Mountain High once she reached high school, and she and the team made the playoffs all four years she was there. They were the State runner-up in 2017, and in that same year, Rath was named First Team All-Region.

The next season, she was named Second Team All-Region before making the First Team again her senior year.

She set a goal for herself when she arrived at Sunrise to get 1,000 career assists by the end of her high school career, and she finished with 1,276.

“Knowing that I reached over my goal felt amazing,” Rath said. “I won’t forget all the great memories and experiences I made at Sunrise Mountain. I had great coaches and met lots of my best friends.”

At the same time that she was setting hitters at Sunrise, Rath was doing the same for her Livewire Club Team.

In her first year with Livewire 15 Adidas in 2017, Rath and her team set a goal once they made it to Nationals.

Make it to the main court.

They did just that and won the National Championship in Minneapolis by two points in the second set of play.

“I will never forget the moment we won, and we all stormed on the court with tears of joy,” Rath said. “We all knew that all our hard work payed off.”

“It was a game we will never forget,” Shanon Rath said. “Shauna was turning into a tremendous player and leader right before our eyes.”

“That whole experience was a once in a lifetime thing for me,” Shauna’s father Gary Rath said.

Two years later, she returned and won Nationals again and was named to the All-Tournament team.

“It was awesome,” Shanon Rath said. “We could not believe she was a two-time National champ and seeing her make All-Tourney team at Nationals was such a proud parent moment.”  

Rath played for Livewire all throughout high school and walked away a coveted recruit for colleges.

“I wouldn’t be the player I am today without Livewire. The coaches taught me more than just volleyball,” Rath said. “They always believed in me and pushed me to be the best. I will always look up to them.”

Rath got recruited by Division I Cal State Fullerton in the beginning of her senior year. They saw her film and highlights and also watched a handful of her high school games live. They reached out to her soon after and asked her to come on an official visit. 

She and her parents both enjoyed the campus and coaches, and she committed to the school for volleyball after her Livewire and high school careers ended.

But more than that, she is seeking the education the school has to offer.

“She wants to be a teacher and major in early childhood education. She loves working with children,” Shanon Rath said. “Her education is very important to her and we would love to watch her play volleyball as long as she enjoys it.  She is a competitor, so we know she will work hard and be a great teammate.”

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