Athlete Spotlight: McKenzie Adams
She preps for every match by following a strict routine, always putting on her left knee pad, ankle brace and shoe first while listening to Jason Aldean’s country tunes or hip-hop and rap courtesy of Drake and Lil Wayne.
The superstitious ritual apparently works.
UTSA volleyball team member McKenzie Adams parlayed her unique pre-game routine into a 2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American honorable mention as well as the title of Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
In doing so, she became the first Roadrunner in program history to win either award.
The six-foot, three-inch outside hitter also became only the third player in WAC history to be named conference player-of-the-week five times in one season—scoring 4.85 points and making 4.35 kills per set, the second best in the conference.
"Although one person is named the winner, I would not be getting the award but for my teammates passing the ball and setting me up" for the kill shot, she said. "It was a huge honor and I am so honored and blessed."
Now the challenge will be the competition in Conference USA.
"It will definitely be a step up in competition, for sure," she said, given that the team will regularly face the University of Tulsa, traditionally one of the top teams in the nation.
The 21-year-old Schertz, Texas, native remains grateful that she took her older sister’s advice to transfer to UTSA, where she is on a full athletic scholarship, after a year at the University of Virginia. Plus she gets to live with her sister, Ashley, off-campus.
The junior is majoring in multidisciplinary studies, but she doesn’t plan to stray far from the game she has played since taking up volleyball at age 10.
Her goal and dream is the USA national team, and she wants to coach at the collegiate level after playing professionally overseas.