Working for the team

Hart leads volleyball team into season for the last time

We’ve all been told to listen to our mother. Mothers are always willing to help and give their input on a situation to make everything right.

For University of North Dakota’s Volleyball libero McKenzie Hart, she embraces her mother-like role. The senior from Langdon, North Dakota, is always looking to improve and to help out her teammates on and off the court.

Hart has had a decorated career at UND, setting the single season record for most digs with 583 as a junior. She has also won Big Sky libero of the year her junior year, and also ranks 18th for career digs here at UND.

But that’s not to say she was a one sport athlete in high school. Not only did she notch two state titles in volleyball, she also was a state champion in two track events and eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in basketball.

But what made her decide on volleyball?

In a phone interview with Hart Tuesday, she was quick to respond on why she picked volleyball saying, “It was the one I was most knowledgeable of, I had the most passion for it, and it was the one I practiced the most.”

McKenzie is looking forward to building off a successful season. Talking to Hart, she put the team first in any question I asked, especially when I asked her goals for the season.

“Over last season, we worked more on team goals than individual. We want to make the NCAA tournament, win every home game, we want to play as a team, and mainly we want to have fun.”

When asking Hart what it was like between senior year and freshman year she was quick to go into denial.

“The four years have gone by so quick,” said Hart. “I feel like I shouldn’t be a senior.”

However, she embraces the role of being one of the leaders this year.

Hart went on to say how when she was a freshman the seniors were great leaders for her and she looks to be that for this year’s underclassmen.

What she looks forward to is how under head coach Mark Pryor, there iss no seniority.

“We flow as a team more. There’s no seniority and everyone is equal.” said Hart in the interview.

Despite the fact that she does not feel like a senior, Hart accepts the role of being one the leaders of the team.

“Being a leader gives you experience. More than just on the court too. If one of the freshmen have a question about classes or how to get to a building the quickest, I am more than happy to help. It’s more of being a ‘mother’, like the seniors of the team when I was a freshman.”

Hart and the rest of the volleyball team look forward to the season to play as a team and achieve their goals. But no matter what, as Hart said, they are just going to have fun playing the game they love no matter what happens.

Jack Harvey is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]