McKenna Rhodes’ breakout senior season at Ozark has seen her go 20/20 in 2020.
Rhodes went from picking up her first double-double at the varsity level early this season to netting 20 kills and 20 digs against Nixa.
A backup as a junior, she may be the most improved player in the COC entering this weekend’s Grand Slam Tournament at Ozark.
“I haven't stuck out the past couple of years,” Rhodes said. “I’m trying hard to make sure I make a name for myself this year.”
Rhodes is in the mix for Ozark from start to finish as a six-rotation player for the first time in her career. Being a constant presence on the floor and being a senior, she’s taken ownership in the team as a vocal and inspirational leader.
“She’s our backbone,” coach Adeanna Brewer said. “She brings energy, hustle and work ethic. Her determination is also there. That’s contagious to her teammates.”
“Since my freshman year, I've wanted to leave the program better than I found it,” Rhodes said. “I can do that by bringing energy to the team and executing when I need to. I want my teammates to be able to count on me, whether we're losing by 20 or winning by 20.”
As an underclassman, Rhodes felt she had great examples to learn from.
“Macey Putt, Kennedi Anderson and Julia McCown were great leaders,” she said, reciting some of Ozark’s all-state players of the past. “I was blessed to play under them.”
Rhodes has responded well to playing in the front row and back row.
“There have been times in the past in which I got that chance, but wasn't quite ready for it,” she said. “This year, I'm ready. I'm thankful coach has given me the opportunity.”
Rhodes certainly isn’t lacking for motivation. In addition to looking forward to helping Ozark to a long post-season run, she’s trying to attract an offer from a college coach.
“It would mean the world to me,” she said of playing in college. “Volleyball is my life. I want to play it as long as I can. I'm looking for an offer and I think if I keep working, I'll get what I want.”