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Gael Spotlight | Morgan Hughes

Oct. 24, 2017

The Concentric Wealth Management Gael Spotlight is a weekly Q&A by with a Saint Mary's student-athlete, getting to know our Gaels more closely

MORAGA, Calif. -- This week, sat down with Morgan Hughes, a junior on the Saint Mary's women's volleyball team. Hughes has been one of the Gaels' top players this season after transferring from Feather River College.

Q: When did you start playing volleyball?

A: "Volleyball was just one of the sports I started out with. I played basketball, softball, track, and soccer throughout high school, but something about volleyball stuck with me the most. Coming out of high school and college I received a lot more offers for volleyball then I did for basketball."

Q: What inspired you to play volleyball?

A: "I Iived with my dad and he is a huge sports fan. He encouraged me and my sister to enjoy competing in our sports. In high school, I received a basketball offer from Hawaii-Hilo, but considering it was far from home, it didn't feel like the right fit at the time. Feather River College is where I played volleyball, and I loved it because it was two hours away from home."

Q: How did you get into playing beach volleyball?

A: "I never played beach volleyball up until my freshman year of junior college, which was weird because Quincy (Calif.) wasn't near a beach. I enjoy beach volleyball because I am able to control the game mostly on my own and having one other partner to rely on makes it fun and harder and I like being up for the challenge."

Q: Why did you decide to come to Saint Mary's?

A: "I like Saint Mary's because it is close to home, I knew I wanted to play Division I volleyball, and this school felt like a good fit. On the academic side, coming to Saint Mary's is different because the education was easier in high school and junior college."

Q: What is the culture like on the Saint Mary's women's volleyball team?

A: "I found it difficult coming into the program as one of the only transfers. What is cool about the team is that there are no likes or dislikes, everyone is welcoming."

"What is different from my coach compared to my previous coaches, is that I never had a guy coach. Growing up, all of my coaches were female coaches and they were motherly figures to me."

"I look forward to going into practices and games as a job and working hard in school. Coach Rob helped me over the summer when I stayed to take summer courses. He helped me with Spanish and I thought that was nice for him to help because of my connection with my previous coaches."

Q: What is your hometown like?

A: "Willows, California, has about 5,000 people. My senior year of high school had 90 kids. It is a small town and community-oriented, which is what I like. It is a farmers country. My family harvests rice and my friends all live on farms. Sometimes I like helping my friends feed their calves and cows in the morning."

Q: What is your family orientation like?

A: "My dad is my life. He tries to come to every game to support me no matter what, and if he can't make it he watches online. There are times when he yells at the TV, getting so excited about everything. He shows how proud he is in all my accomplishments. I always do whatever I can do to make him proud and to put a smile on his face."

Q: What are your goals and aspirations while attending Saint Mary's?

A: "I look forward to hopefully continue my volleyball career in the Olympics. It has been a goal for me and my dad. My dad really loves watching me play beach volleyball. I think it would be cool to make my way up to playing beach, and this is a great way to start. Academically, I am still finding myself here. For a while, I wanted to be a coach and also work with Special Ed., which I did my senior year of high school. It was absolutely amazing to interact with those kids, but when I started my freshman year of junior college I took a Kinesiology class because I wanted to become a physical therapist. I am finding my way academically."



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