After a rocky start, Jaliyah Bolden, senior middle blocker for the volleyball team, has finally reached the home stretch of her four-year journey.
The daughter of James and Monica Bolden, Jaliyah Bolden was born in Mississippi, then raised in Dallas alongside her younger siblings Jaylon and Jhayla Bolden.
Jaliyah Bolden’s passion for the sport of volleyball began to manifest itself when she was in the third grade. Her passion has continued to grow each year.
“I started playing volleyball in third grade,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “I’ve been playing for a while but I didn’t start taking it seriously until about high school when I started playing club volleyball.”
Prior to her career as a Texas State Bobcat, Jaliyah Bolden attended Colorado State for two seasons redshirting as a freshman in 2013 and taking the court in 2014.
While at Colorado State, the athlete was part of a team that took part in the NCAA Championship twice, making it as far as the Round of 16 in 2014.
Due to differences with the coaching staff, Jaliyah Bolden felt the need for a new start, transferring to Texas State in 2015.
“At Colorado State, I loved my team, but didn’t get along with the coaches,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “I kind of just played because I had to.”
After arriving at Texas State, Jaliyah Bolden started in nine matches throughout her sophomore season.
The volleyball player was off to a better record her junior season, where she played in all 33 matches while making 28 starts.
The senior’s performance in the 2016 Sun Belt Conference tournament earned her the honor of being named to the SBC All-Tournament Team.
Jaliyah Bolden credits much of her renewed love of the game and improvement to the Texas State coaching staff.
“The coaches here are just nice people,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “I go and talk to them all the time. They care about us as individuals and about our families. At Colorado State, I didn’t really get that.”
Majoring in Applied Arts and Sciences, Jaliyah Bolden plans to move back home after graduation.
“I plan to move back to Dallas to be close to my family,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “To find a job there in the corporate world.”
When volleyball and school aren’t taking up her time, Jaliyah Bolden enjoys taking advantage of all the city of San Marcos has to offer.
“I love to cook, watch movies and just hang out with friends,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “I love floating and trying different places to eat because there are so many places now.”
Jaliyah Bolden looks at her time at Texas State as a learning experience and credits the volleyball team as a large factor in shaping the person she is today.
“I’ve learned a lot of lessons, like how to be on a team, how to work with people I don’t necessarily care for or who don’t care for me,” Jaliyah Bolden said. “There are so many things, and I feel like I wouldn’t be half the person I am without collegiate volleyball.”
Despite her collegiate career coming to an end, volleyball will still be a part of Jaliyah Bolden’s life.