CSUB Volleyball welcomes Ava Palm back to Bakersfield

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The newest addition to the CSU Bakersfield indoor volleyball team features a familiar face as Bakersfield native Ava Palm decided to return to her hometown to become a Roadrunner. Palm was a Conference USA All-Freshman Team winner at UTEP, but after two seasons with the Miners, she chose to continue her college career where it all began.

“To say I’m excited would be an understatement! Palm spoke about his return to Bakersfield. “After being 900 miles away in Texas for so long, I have definitely missed my support at home. It’s a great feeling to know that I will make Bakersfield even more proud of this amazing university and follow in the footsteps of my dad. to be a Roadrunner!”

A graduate of Bakersfield High School, Palm was a three-time All-League First-Team winner while claiming a pair of All-Region First-Team nods during her time as a driller. At the end of her prep career, Palm headed to UTEP where she enjoyed an outstanding rookie campaign in 2020.

En route to All-Conference honor, the six-foot outside hitter was one of the Miners’ leaders in points and kills, but her serving skills really set Palm apart. She ranked third in C-USA and led the team with 28 total serving aces on the year and her 0.49 aces per set average reset UTEP’s single-season record.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ava to our volleyball program and to return to Bakersfield,” said Giovana Melo, head coach at CSUB. “Ava is athletic, she has experience playing at the D1 level and she is a competitor. We believe Ava can help elevate our program, not just on the pitch, but in the community.”

“The energy of the team and coaching staff couldn’t have been fairer to me,” Palm added of his decision to play for CSUB. “What stands out the most about this program is how close the players’ relationships were with each other and with the coaches. Watching them train and the weight room really showed me what kind of culture they create. here and I’m so glad I chose to be a part of it!

After playing 46 games in UTEP Orange and Blue, Palm will return to Bakersfield this summer ahead of her first season in CSUB Blue and Gold. She has deep roots in Kern County and will once again enjoy playing in front of her home crowd.

Palm’s ties to the CSUB and Bakersfield include his father, Vance Palm, who was a member of the CSUB men’s basketball team (1986-88). Vance is still active with his alma mater as he can regularly be heard on ESPN broadcasts from Bakersfield as a play-by-play announcer or color analyst.

Melo also spoke about the importance of having talented local athletes on the team: “We have had hard-hitting players from Bakersfield in our program and we are delighted to add Ava to this group. We are excited for the future of our program. West is a fun conference to attend and we look forward to bringing our community to our games.”

Melo, Palm and the rest of the `Runners are working hard to prepare for another run at the Big West Conference this fall. Be on the lookout for a CSUB 2022 volleyball schedule in the coming months; you won’t want to miss any Bakersfield game.

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