Most Notre Dame Prep athletes think of their sport as just a hobby or something to fill up the time. For sophomore libero McKenna Douglas, volleyball is her life.
When discussing playing all year long, the sophomore said, “I pretty much have volleyball all year long because right when school volleyball ends, club starts up. So I am always training.” Douglas started at age eight and now plays year-round with both high school and club teams. Some of the best athletes that the world has ever seen began at the same time as the sophomore. That being said, Douglas has the potential to make a career out of the sport she loves.
When asked about her dreams regarding volleyball, she said, “I want to play volleyball at the collegiate level at the University of Kentucky. The reason I would like to go here is because of the coaches, the coaching style, academics, the campus, being D1, and of course because it feels like a perfect fit for me and that it has everything that I would want in a college.” Since she has been playing since she was eight and will be playing varsity for all four years of her high school career, playing at the University of Kentucky is an achievable goal.
For now, Douglas stated that her goals for this season are “for me to keep my energy high, to not only help me but my teammates to my left and right. I also want to become stronger at serve-receive along with defense and to watch the ball into my platform so I can give a perfect pass to the setter to give to the hitters so they can execute the ball away.” Having these goals in mind, Douglas will continue to become a better player and teammate.
Douglas’s coach, Holly McClean, says her goals for the sophomore are that “she gets a chance to win state before graduating, she reaches a passing average of 2.5 and a good pass percentage of 70%. I hope she gets picked up by a solid 4-year university!”
Coach McClean is new to NDP this year and it seems that she already has a connection with her players. McClean said she has enjoyed learning about Douglas and that “McKenna is FEARLESS. It’s inspiring! She’s also a good dancer and a great teammate. She’s a fiery source of energy for the team. She promotes good team chemistry.” Coach McClean also said that she can improve on “…working on being a more vocal leader despite being an underclassman.” It seems that Douglas is a natural-born leader, in the eyes of her coach.
In Douglas’s words, the goals for the varsity team are to “make it to playoffs, make it to state, and continuously work hard and become better every practice.” State is very much possible for this sisterhood and they can even shoot higher.
After college, Douglas said she would like to go play overseas, but that is not the end of her dream. She said, “After I finish all of that I would love to be a coach for any school or club team so I could help young girls be the best that they can become and also help them reach the goals that they have.”
Last season, Douglas had 377 digs and 42 aces, which are incredible numbers for a freshman. For this season, Douglas has only played two matches after having some health issues, including a concussion, but she is hoping to battle back as the season continues and potentially goes into playoffs. The 2019 girls team is currently 8-10 with an upcoming tournament on October 4th.