Another California High School athletics star signed with a college program on Jan. 17 when volleyball player Isabelle Kincaid signed with Columbia College.
Kincaid first began her volleyball journey when she was in the 5th grade by playing on a club team under the direction of Jim and Alicia Woodson. She found a passion and love for volleyball, which has continued up to today.
Kincaid has played for multiple club teams and travel teams throughout her career, including the Missouri Juniors, who Kincaid helped win second place at a tournament in Las Vegas.
"I attribute my success to Coach Bailey and my club coaches too. Because in the summer they would help me out with weights and in the winter with competitions," Kincaid said. "I just learned a lot from them about getting stronger and then I learned a lot more about the play with my club team."
Throughout the first three years of her career with the Lady Pintos, Kincaid became a household name that helped California go 80-18-3 overall and win a district championship in 2021.
"I remember when we won districts my sophomore year against Eldon. That was a really fun experience. Even the sectional game against Odessa right after that. That was fun too. We may have lost, but that was a fun atmosphere," Kincaid said. "Then even the district championship game against Blair Oaks my junior year, that was crazy. Everybody kept saying how it was like a state championship game. "
Kincaid was named first team All-District, second team All-Conference and the All-State academic team as a freshman and sophomore. As a junior, she was named first team All-Conference, first team All-District, a member of the Class 3 All-State team and the All-State academic team.
However, Kincaid's hopes of another standout season as a senior took a bad turn when she suffered a leg injury at a tournament in Chicago. Because of the injury, she missed the entire season, with the exception of hitting the opening serve on her senior night.
After spending most of her senior season on the bench, Kincaid went looking for a college that would sign her. She was concerned her injury and missing most of the season would prevent her from playing collegiately.
"I thought that it was scary at first. But throughout my injury I knew I had to focus on other things. So that's when I really focused on reaching out to colleges and going to college. That's when I came across Columbia" Kincaid said. "My club team actually scrimmaged Columbia College when I was a junior. From then on, I loved the school, the gym and the players. So I decided to reach out to them twice, went for a campus visit and the rest is history."
Kincaid said her inspiration for playing volleyball in high school came from an understanding of how the game changes. She wanted to improve her skills to keep up with the changes. But one thing that hasn't changed for Kincaid is the support system that has built around her in California. Kincaid credits all those in the community, and her support circle, for helping and encouraging her into the next phase in her life's journey.
"I just want to say thank you to California," she said. "I've felt so much love and support from them throughout all four of my years. I wouldn't be who I am today without the support of the community, my coaches, my family and my friends. I appreciate all of the support and I want to say thank you for being able to watch me."