Former Blue Springs South High School outside hitter Shanice Horn was searching for another college to call home following her freshman season at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
She had some options including Eastern Kentucky, Furman, South Alabama and Austin Peay. But her mother Shauna decided to make another phone call — one to Butler University in Indianapolis. It was a move that changed everything for the soon-to-be college sophomore.
Horn, who played three years with the Jaguars from 2013 to 2015, will play her sophomore season at Butler University after one year with Islanders. As a true freshman, Horn, an outside hitter, tallied 49 kills, 36 digs, three blocks, three assists and two aces in 15 matches.
“Having Butler as an option was out of the blue so I knew it was meant to be,” she said. “After I talked with my mom, we numbered each of (her possible transfer schools). We figured Butler should definitely be at the top.
“Furman was my first choice at first, but we thought there might be some problems with the transfer process there. Then my mom reached out to other schools, including Butler, but we didn’t think we would hear back from them. Once they called us I was like, ‘Wow! Are you kidding me?’ My mom said ‘Their RPI ranking is 58, so we need to talk to them.”
They did and Horn now has a new college home. She said she didn’t feel like Corpus Christi was the best fit for her after one season.
“Going into college it was an up and down roller coaster ride,” Horn said. "It was a little different because me and my coach didn’t have that connection. It was hard figuring out what he wanted and what I wanted.”
After looking for places to transfer, Butler stood out among the rest.
“I felt like Butler was the perfect fit for me,” she said. “The school was gorgeous and the team was so family-oriented. When I went on my first visit I thought, ‘Wow! This is amazing!'"
Horn has the potential to bring a lot to the table for the Bulldogs. As a junior at Blue Springs South, she totaled 234 kills, 30 aces and 31 blocks during a season in which she earned first-team all-district and All-Suburban Big Six honors.
Her family moved to South Carolina and she played her senior year at Aiken High School, where she become a star. Horn led her team to a Class AAAA state championship in 2016 in season that she had a team-high 423 kills on 48.6 hitting and earned first-team, all-state honors along with making the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American watchlist.
“We had to get a feel for each other with me being new to the school and the team,” Horn said. “I had to figure out how to interact with some of the new players. After that, me and my coach worked together to figure out what would be best for the team.
“I don’t think anyone expected us to go as far as we did. It was a really great experience because everyone chipped in and put in hard work. Everyone wanted to go all the way.”
Going from living in Blue Springs and Grain Valley most of her life to living in South Carolina was a surprisingly smooth transition for Horn, who enjoyed it on the East coast.
“It really wasn’t a big transition for me at that point because I was already committed (to Texas A&M Corpus-Christi), so when my parents decided to move I said, ‘OK. Let’s do it.’ It was also for my brother to get better experience playing football and wrestling. When I first came, it didn’t feel like much of a change. The weather was different, but other than, it’s pretty different.”
Playing in Indianapolis will give her the opportunity for her parents to see more of her games as it is a 10-hour drive away from Aiken, S.C., as opposed to 21 hours away like Corpus-Christi, Texas.
Playing in a Power 5 Conference (the Big East) also gives her another possible opportunity to play against longtime friend and Truman grad Lexi Hart, who plays outside hitter for the University of Minnesota. When they played against each other in high school, there was often friendly trash talk between the two. When they played against each other last season, nothing changed.
“I love her. We still Snapchat each other,” Horn said. “We’ve been friends since when I started playing club ball with her with the Invasion.
“We would pretend like we didn’t know each other when played. I would say, ‘Who are you?’ I hate you! Then afterwards we would say, ‘Hey! How are you doing? Where have you been?’”
When preseason practices begin, Horn anticipates nothing will come easy as she aims to earn a spot as a starting outside hitter.
“I think it’s going to be the best thing for me to have that competition,” she said. “I didn’t really have that at Corpus-Christi. It was kind of lackadaisical and everyone was going about their thing. The competition thing is going to help me strive to get to the top.”
And she wants to get to the top as a team, too.
“Our biggest goal is to get to the NCAA Tournament and win it,” Horn said. “That’s definitely my biggest goal. I and I told my team, ‘Let’s do this!’”