“The moment I walked on the University of Tennessee campus, I knew I was home,” Schnell said. “Immediately, I felt the excitement of Knoxville and I wanted to be part of the student body but also to contribute to the school as an athlete and wear Tennessee orange. Every person I met, was welcoming and I could picture myself both in the classroom and on the court. My goal is to further my education at the Haslam School of Business and make great life-long friends. I can’t wait to be a Lady Volunteer.”
An option to play as an outside hitter and a defensive specialist, Schnell comes to Rocky Top from San Diego and Cathedral Catholic High School. She played her club ball with Coast Volleyball out of Sorrento Valley.
“Cate Schnell is a player we are really excited about,” head coach Eve Rackham Watt said. “She will add ball control, a great serve and a workman-like mentality to our program. She comes from a terrific club in Southern California and just won a state championship, going through the entire season undefeated. Cate is used to winning but also continues to work at her craft and improve each season. We believe Cate will compete for multiple positions, as her skill set has a very broad range. Everyone in our program is looking forward to welcoming Cate to Knoxville.”
Schnell and Cathedral Catholic recently capped off an impressive 2022 season – finishing 42-0 and dropping just one set all year to go 106-1 in sets. The Dons won the CIF Open Division State Championship and were named the No. 1 team in the nation by MaxPreps.
At 6-1, she began the season as a starting defensive specialist but ended the year as a six-rotation outside.
At the club level, Schnell has played 10 seasons with Coast and helped guide her 17s squad to a third-place finish at AAUs in the 18 Open section. She also led the team to finish third in the nation at junior nationals.