SF State Women’s volleyball team middle blocker Chloe Henning stands for a portrait in front of Don Nasser Family Plaza during a portrait session on Oct. 4, 2022. (Abraham Fuentes / Golden Gate Xpress) (Abraham Fuentes)
SF State Women’s volleyball team middle blocker Chloe Henning stands for a portrait in front of Don Nasser Family Plaza during a portrait session on Oct. 4, 2022. (Abraham Fuentes / Golden Gate Xpress)

Abraham Fuentes

SF State volleyball player Chloe Henning excels on the court and in the classroom

The sophomore Henning earned a Defensive Player of the Week award earlier this season and is fourth in the CCAA in hitting percentage.

October 25, 2022

Volleyball is more than just a game to sophomore Chloe Henning. It’s a lifestyle—a bonding experience and a stress reliever.  

It’s difficult enough to juggle school, work and other responsibilities, but student-athletes also commit several hours a day to their sport. Despite spending five to six hours every day with the team, Henning has managed to excel in both her athletics and academics. 

“I think it’s a really good outlet for any type of stress and it also provides a community,” Henning said. “It’s hard enough coming into college, especially after a pandemic. So getting right in and then having like 20 new friends that you know are going to be really close is really helpful and assuring.”

Henning is a political science major and wants to go to law school after she graduates. In her free time, she likes to explore the city, which was the main reason she came to SF State. One of her favorite activities is going with the team to Ocean Beach.

Henning was a 2021-22 All-Academic Award honoree during her freshman year. Now in her sophomore season, she has been an integral part of the 12-8 Gators. Her play for the week of Sept. 18 to Sept. 25 earned her the California Collegiate Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Week Award.

In route to a 2-0 weekend, Henning stacked up 10 blocks and 16 kills against Sonoma State on Sept. 28. Henning’s .750 hitting percentage ranked as the fourth-highest for a Gator in a single match. 

Hitting percentage is one of the most important stats in volleyball, which is found by subtracting the total of hitting errors from the total number of kills and then dividing that number by the total amount of attack attempts. 

Henning, whose position is middle blocker, is fourth in the CCAA in hitting percentage. She leads the Gators in blocks and is fifth in kills. 

For Henning, the most challenging aspect of volleyball is to score a point because it means the other team has to make a mistake. 

Chloe Henning, a middle blocker volleyball player for the SF State Women’s volleyball team, practices in Don Nasser Family Plaza on Oct. 4, 2022. (Abraham Fuentes / Golden Gate Xpress) (Abraham Fuentes)

“There’s constant mistakes, which is really difficult because you can get in your head really easily,” she said. “Your passes and all of your touches have to be perfect, or you let the team down and lose a point.”  

Her favorite part of the game comes from long rallies that net a point after both teams go back and forth making plays. She believes that long rallies can turn the tide in a contest. 

Head coach Matt Hoffman said he’s really proud of her for putting in hard work on a daily basis to get to where she’s at today.

“She never takes a day, weight session or practice off,” Hoffman said. “She grinds out there. She handles the ups and downs really well that come her way. She stays the course with whatever she’s working on.” 

Henning finds it easier to get other tasks done, such as schoolwork, during the season because her schedule is more structured. It allows her to know when she will have time for her other commitments. 

While her team can see the impact of her work ethic on the court, her roommate and teammate Cynthia Beall also acknowledged her effort to maintain good grades. 

“I can see all of the work that Chloe puts into both our team and her academics,” Beall said in an email. “She studies film on herself and our opponents outside of the film review we do as a team. She works to be one of the top students in all of her classes, and I know that this hard work is paying off.” 

Looking back at her volleyball career, Hennings’ favorite memory was last season when the Gators beat Cal State LA 3-2 in a back-and-forth contest. 

“It was the first time that I ever played in college where there was a big crowd cheering for us,” Henning said. “We had some really great big plays that pushed us over and winning that game was like the best feeling ever.”

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About the Contributors
Photo of Jack Davies
Jack Davies, Sports Editor
Jack Davies (he/him) is a journalism major in his final year of school. He is minoring in international business. He loves to watch sports and write about them, but also has an interest in potentially traveling the world as a salesman. He grew up in Napa Valley, California, and moved to the East Coast when he was 11 years old. He started his college career at Santa Barbara City College, where he wrote for The Channels publication as a sports writer. In his free time, he likes to play sports, explore the Bay Area, hang out with friends, listen to music, play video games and watch TV. After graduating, he wants to write for a sports publication and travel the world.
Photo of Abraham Fuentes
Abraham Fuentes, Staff Photographer
Abraham Fuentes (he/him) is a photojournalism major with a minor in political science at SF State. He is the photo editor for Xpress Magazine. He is a Sonoma County, California native and lives in Santa Rosa, California. Abraham loves to take photos with his film camera; his favorite film stocks are Kodak 400TX and Cinestill 800t. He hopes to tell stories through photography.

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