For the love of the game

One thing children often learn is to never judge a book by its cover, and that it is by actions of the person that they are to be looked at, not by appearance. UVU women’s volleyball player McKenna Tait may come off as a soft-spoken, but on the volleyball court she is a dominate force.

As a sophomore, Tait is one of the younger players on the team but has already been making her presence around the conference by earning player of the week honors on the week of Oct. 8. Last season, she led the team in digs and serving aces. Her 51 totaled aces are the second highest in a single season for UVU.

It’s no mystery for Tait as to why she has had success in her career playing volleyball, because she is passionate about it. When asked about her success early on in her college career, her answer was simple and humble.

“I love the game,” Tait said. “I just have fun playing volleyball and I want to be the best that I can. I’ve had a lot support from family and close coaches from high school that have really taught me how to love volleyball.”

This love of volleyball came as any other for Tait. She started out in other sports that eventually led to her to discover her passion for volleyball.

“I was a competitive gymnast before playing volleyball,” Tait said. “I played about every sport, but really liked volleyball.”

After making the switch to volleyball, Tait emerged herself in the sport by playing for different clubs and her high school team. Her goal was to help herself gain that experience and edge to be the best that she can.

Tait played high school locally at Bingham High School in South Jordan. There she helped her team have success and she herself earned recognition as the team captain earning MVP honors. After her senior year of high school she had two scholarship offers for volleyball, one to Utah State and the other to UVU.

“I really liked the coaches and thought this was the place for me.” Tait said about why she chose UVU.

Having the passion for the game has helped Tait be the great team player that she is today. She has been switching back-and-forth in different positions as head coach Sam Atoa sees fit. However, as they have been changed throughout the year, she has helped the team win key matches. With that in mind, she also echoes the goal of the team and pushes her play to achieve that long term goal.

“We’re hoping we’ll go to the NCAA tournament,” Tait said. “Getting into the WAC helps with the automatic bid, but we still have got to work hard for it.”

With hard work from Tait and the rest of the women’s volleyball team, that goal can become a reality as the Wolverines close out the rest of the season.

Garrett is native of Orem, Utah. He is a graduate of Timpanogos High School. While in high school, Garrett enjoyed playing sports and was a double lettered athlete in football in wrestling. After a short stint of college football at Dixie State, Garrett made his way back to Utah Valley in pursuit of his aspirations of becoming a sports journalist. Garrett has been contributing for the UVU Review for three years and has covered sports, specializing in wrestling. Garrett is married to Jodi Coleman and served an LDS mission to Baguio Philippines. You can follow him on twitter @legendgary

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