UK’s Megan Wilson thought she would be a D-I soccer player, she was wrong

Published 4:12 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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Megan Wilson was always sure she would be a successful college athlete. However, she thought her sport would be soccer, not volleyball.

“I played soccer from first grade until my sophomore year of high school,” said Wilson. “I had started my recruiting process for soccer when I just made an abrupt switch to volleyball. I did gymnastics when I was little. I swam through middle school. I did basketball from sixth to eighth grade and dropped it my freshman year.

“My sophomore year I started high school volleyball. I was 6-3 and felt I had a chance of doing well, and I picked it up right away. I started on the lowest team at my club, and the next year I was pulled up to one of the national teams. I had been playing soccer and volleyball at the same time but then I quit soccer and moved up to the national team.”

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She became a top 50 national recruit in the Prep Volleyball rankings and was an Under Armour All-American. Now she’s ready to make her mark on the Kentucky volleyball team after transferring from Oklahoma. The 6-4 Wilson was an all-Big 12 selection last season when she averaged 3.64 kills and 4.6 points per set and hit .241 on the season. She had 20 kills against Texas Tech and had 11 matches with 15 or more kills.

Once she put her name into the transfer portal, Wilson immediately knew Kentucky was the right fit for her.

“As soon as I came on my visit I loved the coaches. Craig (Skinner) is amazing. I met the girls and liked them. I felt I had a purpose here,” Wilson said. “I had watched Kentucky play and once I went into the portal, I made a list of my top ten schools.

“Craig is pretty intentional with relationships off the court. You don’t see that a lot anymore. It’s more business with a lot of coaches. My first conversation with Craig, it was nice to be around somebody who cared about you as a person. I just feel like you don’t see that with a lot of coaches.”

Wilson uses her size well at the net but also set an Oklahoma record for service aces in a single season last year with 56 — ninth best nationally. She averaged a conference high 0.55 service yes per set.

“When I got to Oklahoma, I transitioned to outside hitter and it was my first year of really serving, and it was pretty difficult that first year. My sophomore year it kind of clicked for me. I have been continuing to work on it since I got here and using some different techniques,” Wilson said. “Right now that is probably the most confident part of my game. I can rely on that.”

Wilson said she connected with her new UK teammates faster than she ever has with any group of teammates.

“The first month here was a little shaky and more stressful than I expected, but I love this team,” she said. “What is most exciting to me is that I see a lot of players burnt out from playing so long. I feel I have not tapped into what is possible for me to be. Craig is great at pushing me and knows I want to be the best.”

Wilson grew up in Houston but traveled a lot with her dad, who she says is her best friend.

“We would go on trips four times a year just to get away and it would usually be something outdoors,” Wilson said. “We spent a lot of time hiking. I grew up around horses and was always around livestock. I have found a few places around here to hike and have been to the (Red River Gorge) twice.”

Wilson is a communications major at UK but would like to do anything outdoors after graduation. She’s interested in wildlife conservation or something dealing with the environment.