Missing out on her sophomore season with the Delta College volleyball team did not ruin Kacy Bolding’s college prospects.
In fact, it may have helped improve them.
The 2019 Manteca High graduate has accepted a full tuition scholarship to play for Cal Poly Pomona, signing with the NCAA Division II school on June 12.
A four-year standout at Manteca, Bolding enjoyed a successful season as the starting setter for Delta in 2019 but was unable to build on that this past year because of the pandemic. Back in December, the Big 8 Conference opted not to participate in traditional fall and winter sports.
“The extra year actually helped me with the recruiting process,” she said. “Since I did not have a season, they’re able to get me for three years instead of two and I got to use that as a selling point. I’m not a normal (junior college) transfer.”
Bolding reached out to second-year Cal Poly Pomona coach Traci Dahl to express interest in continuing her career with the Broncos. She sent match film from her lone season with Delta along with video footage from a practice session to give CPP coaches a more recent look at her development. Dahl called in April with an offer, which Bolding immediately accepted.
“What made the recruiting process so different was that everything was done on ZOOM, but I’m glad it worked out because Pomona was the school that was at the top of my list.”
Cal Poly Pomona is getting a versatile athlete in the 5-foot-10 Bolding, who put all of her talents to use while playing in a 6-2 system for dad and coach Kevin Bolding in high school. She was twice named Most Outstanding Player of the Valley Oak League, and in 2017 the Buffaloes claimed their first conference title since 1991.
Bolding was featured as the lone setter in Delta’s 5-1 attack in 2019, and she expects to fill a similar role at CPP.
“We’re going to have some big hitters and high flyers, so I’m not mad at that,” Bolding said. She added that her one year at Delta provided good preparation for the next level.
The Mustangs went 21-9 and placed third in the competitive Big 8, coming up one win short of qualifying for the eight-team California Community College Athletic Association State Championship. Delta finished 13th in the final state rankings.
“Our conference was the toughest in California,” she said. “I believe that out of the eight teams (in the Big 8) six were ranked in the top 25 at one point. Every game was tough. Playing at Delta gave me the confidence I needed. It let me know that I could do this and taught me that I could really relax and just play.”
Although Bolding hasn’t had a chance to officially visit the campus, she got to do so after participating in a nearby club volleyball tournament during her senior year of high school. She fell in love with the campus and liked that CPP competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, which includes NorCal schools such as Cal State East Bay and Stanislaus State where her folks could attend road matches.
Cal Poly Pomona is in the process of rebuilding two years after longtime coach Rosie Wegrich retired. The American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Famer led the Broncos to a 24-6 mark and an NCAA Division II West Regional appearance in 2018. The following year, the first under Dahl, they compiled an 8-16 record (6-11 overall) and had their 2020 campaign canceled because of COVID-19.
Bolding will continue her studies in kinesiology after earning an associate’s degree at Delta and looks forward to begin practicing with her new team next month.
“It was honestly a relief,” she said of formally committing to Cal Poly Pomona. “Ever since high school, playing club became like a job because you have to play well for these college coaches to notice you. At Delta, every game counted because I needed the film. It’s a relief, but also I felt very accomplished because I am able to go to the school I wanted and didn’t have to settle.
“All the hard work I put in has paid off,” Bolding added. “I’m really excited. Manteca is cool, but I can’t wait to move away and go somewhere different to play a sport and go to school.”