Motherhood motivates McGlathery’s return to UAA Volleyball

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The UAA Volleyball season is almost halfway over, and the Seawolves are looking to make another run at the NCAA tournament.

A big reason for the Green and Gold’s success this season is middle blocker Kayla McGlathery, who was recently named GNAC offensive player of the week.

“She’s physically very talented she has a fast arm, hits the ball very hard, and maybe a little smarter as a player that’s five years older,” said head coach Chris Green.

McGlathery transferred to UAA from Texas A&M-Kingsville, but left after her first season in 2014.

“Life happened, it just wasn’t the right time for me family stuff at home, and I had my son Cruz,” said McGlathery.

After leaving Alaska, and having a child in 2017 she thought her playing days were over.

“A couple years ago if you were to ask me if I would ever play volleyball again I would have said 'probably not' because I felt so out of it,” said McGlathery.

Then she decided to return volleyball, and caught even her family by surprise.

“They were super excited, but they thought I was crazy honestly,” said McGlathery. “Everyone thought ‘how’s that going to work?’"

McGlathery also had reservations about whether her return would be possible.

“Especially being so far out of the game a lot of people were wondering, shoot, in my mind I was wondering, ‘Am I crazy for trying to do this?’ " said Mcglathery.

The motivated mother said she wanted to show her son Cruz "anything was possible," and called her old coach and let him know her plans.

“I didn’t know that (McGlathery’s return) would ever be a possibility, but we are happy it’s happening,” said Green.

The middle blocker said returning to volleyball was muscle memory, and she focused most of her efforts on getting into playing shape. The real challenge was her day-to-day schedule as an athlete and mother.

“It wouldn’t have worked without my husband, Dak, that support system right there,” said McGlathery.

Luckily, McGlathery said between online classes, family, and friends she’s been able to balance it all.

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