Wedded at the net

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Photo by Jesse Sanchez

The schedule of a student athlete is very demanding. Between practices, workouts, games and scholastic endeavors, at times it seems that there is not much time left over. However, this past June Kiahna Vernon of the UVU women’s volleyball team added something else to her plate, marriage.

“Before I met my husband I spent a lot of time socializing and getting to know other people,” said Vernon. “Now that I am married I am able to put all of my energy and focus into my schooling and athletics… From my perspective, it’s a lot easier being married and a student-athlete than playing single.”

Vernon’s day begins early and ends late, as she arrives on campus at 7 a.m. every weekday and stays until 5 p.m. Days when the Wolverines play at home later in the evening, she is there until after 9 p.m. When the time does come to return home, sometimes her husband is working late. The grueling schedule becomes even more challenging for Vernon with her husband hard at work. Although that time spent away from each other makes the time they are together more of a priority.

“The scheduling is really hard, especially when we are gone every other week, obviously I miss him a lot. It is a nicer adjustment though, he helps me out a ton and there are not really many negatives,” said Vernon.

While one member of the volleyball team is making the adjustment to playing married, Vernon’s teammate Madison Dennison is in her second year competing with a ring on her finger. She married Dustin Dennison of the UVU wrestling team June 2015.

“It’s awesome being married to another student-athlete, because he understands what I am going through so there is never miscommunication about that side of it,” said Dennison. “But it also sucks because he’s gone a week and then I’m gone a week and we never really get to see each other, but it is really fun to see each other at our games.”

That time spent at the games gives Dennison and Vernon the motivation to continue their hectic daily schedules.

As a number of athletes on campus make the decision to get married, it seems the answer to which lifestyle is easier depends on the situation. However, one thing is clear: playing a Division I sport in college is demanding, single or married.