Small town brings big dreams

Coming from a small school in Panguitch, a little southern Utah town, UVU knew exactly what was about to hit them.

With three consecutive state championship titles and being recognized as an extremely talented volleyball player at a Utah 1A level, Kalani Norris is the next big thing for the women’s volleyball team.

Norris recently received the Great West Conference Volleyball Player of the Week award for her offensive play after an exciting week against Utah State and NJIT, with a total of 36 kills.

She helped finish off two wins against Utah State and NJIT two weeks ago. Both were five-set matches. The wins brough the Wolverines to an 8-4 record after being on the road for 12 consecutive away matches.

“I was excited because the season had kind of been down for a while, but now I’ve picked it up and started to play better,” Norris said. “I’m just glad I got to come back and help the team out.”

On a quest to find which university to attend after an incredible high school career of championship wins and a 1A MVP her junior and senior year, Norris choose UVU as an institution where she could continue her outstanding volleyball career.

“Looking at all the schools, coaching staff and girls, they [UVU] were all better and into my same value system than others,” Norris said. “I just feel more comfortable and right here.”

Although Norris may be a younger player amongst her teammates, she stands out as an exceptional offensive player who contributes determination and confidence on the court.

“Kalani’s a fighter,” said head coach Sam Atoa. “She is a very determined young lady and recognizes what she needs to, especially when she’s challenged on areas she may not be doing very well at. When she recognizes that she gets out there and works really hard at it.”

Nothing stops this Norris as she continues her sophomore year and second volleyball season with the Wolverines. UVU is currently in conference play as they strive to complete the year as a success.

“She’s playing really well and with confidence,” Atoa said. “It’s good to see that from her, especially coming from a small school that the level of play she’s at is significantly different. That has to do with her determination and her goals in order to fit and do her part and we are really pleased with that.”

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