Coughlin playing professional volleyball overseas

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

To say that Shannon Coughlin loves volleyball would be an understatement.
The Clay alum is currently living thousands of miles away from home in Cyprus and playing the sport professionally against people from all parts of the world.
Coughlin is playing for Lemesos Volleyball, based in Limassol, in the Cypriot Women’s National Division.
It’s a diverse group of players – one that includes athletes from Kenya, Brazil and the Netherlands. Some are still in high school, some are attending college, and some have jobs.
“All of my teammates and coaches have been very welcoming and friendly from the day I got here. It’s a different dynamic that I have been getting used to day by day, but I was expecting that, given the fact that I was so used to being in Green Bay (for college) for the last five years,” said Coughlin. “Overall, it’s been a cool experience getting to see how the game is played over here and how passionate my teammates and coaches are. Meeting people from different backgrounds and experiencing a different culture has been rewarding in itself, and then to add volleyball into that equation makes it even better.
“Thankfully in my case, everyone knows English. Everyone communicates very well in English. It’s definitely been a change. The practices are, for the most part, run in English. There are times when the coach is yelling in Greek, and the girls are speaking Greek,” she said.
The season has two regular seasons, the playoffs and the Cup, which takes place in April.
“We just won our first playoff game this past Tuesday and it was a tight game, but we pulled it out in a five-set match and I’m looking forward to a strong playoff season,” Coughlin said.
Her new home, Cyprus, is located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated north of Egypt, east of Greece, south of Turkey, and west of Lebanon and Syria.
“Cyprus has a lot of Greek culture. Throughout the whole process, I was looking at opportunities to play in Greece and Turkey,” Coughlin said. “The language spoken here is Greek. There’s a lot of European culture, and Cyprus is part of the European Union.”
Coughlin said she had a great time playing volleyball for five years at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
“Being a student-athlete is something that was close to my heart. I got an opportunity to play a fifth year when COVID happened,” she said. “I was all aboard for taking another year. I actually graduated with my bachelor’s degree in education, and then got my master’s. It takes a lot of dedication and motivation with class, practice, lifting, studying — it can get to be a lot. It’s like having a job.
“All of the people I had around me helped and I had an amazing coaching staff that took a chance on me and helped me develop into the player I am,” she said. “I got to meet some of my best friends at Green Bay and have endless memories that I’ve made on and off the court. There are highs and lows. You remember the people all of the time and how grateful and blessed I was to be around my teammates and coaches. Green Bay is special to me. My coach used to say I was a really late recruit — I didn’t get signed until April of my senior year — and when I was at Green Bay, she told me that we hit the jackpot (in selecting me), but I believe I hit the jackpot.”
Teaching and coaching could be long-term goals for Coughlin.
“Teaching is definitely not out of the picture. Coaching could be in my future, too. We’ll see how things go and I’ll make my decision. No matter what I do, I want to inspire the youth and help them reach their full potential,” she said. “Volleyball has been a part of my life since I was 8. Volleyball will always be a part of my life, even when I’m washed up and playing in a bar league.”
In high school, Coughlin was a captain for two years, played varsity for three seasons, was a first-team selection in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference twice and was a first-team, all-district selection.
The team, which was coached by Dave Conley, never won a league title but was competitive against the best teams in the TRAC.
“He was really passionate about volleyball. I remember my senior year, the different conversations we had about me stepping up and being a leader. He was my coach for three years,” Coughlin said. “We had pretty successful seasons. We never won the conference, but we were usually one of the top three teams in the TRAC. We held our own.”
Despite being a world away from her family, Coughlin still leans on them.
“I have four other siblings, and there are my parents and grandparents. It’s a lot different being a whole ocean away. I have FaceTime and I can still communicate with them,” she said. “They’ve been my No. 1 support system. My mom has been the No. 1 person in my corner with all the travel volleyball, and my dad has told me not to give up on my dream. Everyone has made sacrifices for me, and I’m super grateful for them.”


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association