UK volleyball’s Tealer reflects on where the sport has taken her

Published 4:00 pm Friday, September 2, 2022

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Kentucky volleyball coach Craig Skinner asked senior middle blocker Azhani Tealer and others on his team to write how volleyball had impacted their lives. For Tealer, that was an easy assignment.

“I’ve done the most incredible things from volleyball. I’ve traveled across the world, I’ve met my best friends, I’m getting my education paid for, and I’ve done all these crazy things thanks to the sport,” Tealer said.

“I really feel a responsibility because I’ve gotten so much, to give back to the sport, to put it on the highest pedestal that sports can be on. Everything that’s given me, I just want to give it all back and help propel the sport for all the younger people.”

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Skinner says there is not a “more explosive athlete” on No. 11 Kentucky than Tealer. But he’s even prouder of leadership skills and effort.

“She is someone who cares a lot about not only her development but the team development,” Skinner said. “She can score points. She can block. Just her willingness to give of herself daily and more is something young players can look up to.”