Looking to ace it

MVP Q&A with Morgan Wardall

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Morgan Guenther

Senior middle hitter Morgan Wardall (7) and outside hitter Emma Aske (11) attempt to block a kill from UW-Oshkosh during their home game in the Williams Center on Sept. 15, 2021.

Parker Olsen, Assistant Sports Editor

Morgan Wardall, a middle hitter on the UW-Whitewater women’s volleyball team, is making the best of her senior season. She has used her time on campus to grow and achieve her goals. She will be graduating in December, completing her major in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. Wardall looks forward to the rest of the volleyball season and has high hopes for the team.

Why did you decide on playing at Whitewater?

So I toured a couple places, I never really thought of Whitewater because my sister went here and didn’t like it, so I was like ‘oh I don’t know.’ But I ended up coming here, I liked the environment. I didn’t only pick because of volleyball, I picked for the education part as well. So I came here and I noticed that the things were a lot newer, and more modern, up to date technology wise and that the volleyball program was really good.

When did you start playing volleyball? Did you play club?

Probably officially in fourth grade I started practicing. Probably a little bit before there, playing around with my sister, she played volleyball as well. I played club, I started at Medford Storm then I think at Wisconsin Ice, I think eighth grade or freshman year and I played all the way through senior year. I was on the nationals team for them, the Wisconsin Ice nationals team, we automatically went to the nationals tournament.

Are there any coaches that were really helpful for you before college that helped you get to the level that you could compete in the next level?

I guess all of my coaches had something to do with my progress and achievements to this day. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve given me and taught me. My mom was also part of all of those coaching staffs and that background to help me and keep supporting me after going through so many things. I don’t disregard any of my coaches, because they’ve all helped me to this point. 

Do you have a favorite moment playing for the team here?

I guess freshman year – I don’t really have a favorite moment necessarily – but I think freshman year we won the conference and I believe, I’m not 100 percent sure, we won the conference tournament and that was a cool moment to be part of that. So just the little things like the conference tournament, winning each game, that’s what is important to me. I don’t really have a specific moment.

Are there any teams you are looking forward to playing this year?

I think getting another crack at Eau Claire, we lost to them a week or two ago. Getting another crack at them just because they’re a good team and I don’t think that we played at the level that we could’ve. So playing them again.

How are you feeling about the team now that you are about half way through your season?

I think we are trying a lot of new things, trying to get the hang of things for the postseason. Trying to get the best lineup and best players out there to compete to our highest level. So we’re working on different things in that aspect. I think we have a lot of talent and if everything comes together we could go pretty far in the playoffs. I feel like this team has had more close relationships than past years. We all get along so well and we are all supportive of each other. We come together as a team and play together and not just individually.

Has it set in that this is your senior season?

Yeah, I’m trying to make the best of it, since previous years – my freshman year I was the freshman on the court, I never really expected to play, I got in a couple times which is expected of freshman year. Sophomore year I played quite a bit, I had an injury that put me out for a year and a half. Thank gosh COVID happened because I wouldn’t be playing. But having this experience and playing a full season without having a long term injury is very beneficial and I want to make the best out of it.

Do you think volleyball has helped you beyond just sports?

Yes I love the game but part of the reason I play is to gain different knowledge and life lessons. I think that every bad thing or thing that puts you down, I can use in a different way. My little motto is I’m a seed, at the beginning of freshman year I was a seed, and there’s a lot of dirt that’s thrown at you and you need that dirt to help you grow. So volleyball wise, life wise, you just have to keep going at it, the dirt is going to help you in some way you just have to learn from it and become a flower.

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