Sophomore Megan Nash began playing volleyball at age 15 in Canada, where she grew up, and now plays as a starting middle blocker hitter for the Sugar Bears.
“UCA recruited me, so I visited,” Nash said. “I liked the campus, the team, and they also had what I wanted to major in.”
After college, Nash said she wants to try to travel and play pro.
“Being able to travel and do what I love would be pretty cool,” she said.
Nash studies kinesiology and would like to become an athletic trainer if she does not play pro after college.
UCA’s volleyball coach Jeni Jones said Nash does extremely well in the classroom, earning a 4.0 GPA during both the 2015 spring and summer semesters.
Although some athletes have trouble balancing school and sports, Nash said being an organized and well-scheduled person has helped her overcome that.
“I’ve always been like that, so for me, balancing school and sports is not that hard,” Nash said. “In high school, I played high school volleyball, club volleyball and I had a job, so I actually had more to handle in high school than I do now.”
In her time at UCA, Nash has grown close to her teammates.
“Me and [sophomore setter]Kristine Hjembo are pretty close because we see each other a lot outside of practice, but I really like all of our teammates,” she said. “We have a lot of new people who I’ve been getting really close to, as well.”
The UCA volleyball program has begun its first season under new head coach Jeni Jones.
Jones attended Florida State, where she played volleyball for four years at the same position as Nash – middle blocker.
Nash said Jones has been doing well as head coach, staying calm and keeping the team calm during matches.
“She’s definitely continuing the tradition of our program, and we’re still playing at a high level,” Nash said.
Although Nash is only a sophomore, she has already made some exciting accomplishments.
“I won credentials at age 17 [in Canada], which is sort of equivalent to winning state, except we have provinces which are like several states,” Nash said. “I was nominated for Freshman of the Year, and, although I didn’t win, it was pretty cool.”
Jones said Nash is a very driven player. “She has great work ethic that she brings to the court daily,” Jones said. “The consistency in her work ethic allows her to see improvements in her game and skill work almost every time she takes the floor.”
Other than her accomplishments, Nash collected a few memorable stories during her time at UCA.
“Last year during the beginning of the season at our first away game, I slipped going into the gym and almost broke my knee cap,” Nash said. “But I still played that night.”
Although preseason was rough, Nash has high hopes for the rest of the season for the Sugar Bears.
“We’re doing pretty good, and I think we could go undefeated for the rest of the season and hopefully win conference,” Nash said.
The Sugar Bears will play their next game at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at McNeese State. For more information on the women’s volleyball schedule, visit ucasports.com
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 7, 2015 print edition of The Echo.
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