Georgetown College can thank the University of Kentucky for their recruitment of Morristown West’s Nina Hodges.
Hodges, a four-year volleyball player for the Lady Trojans, has been a huge Kentucky fan since birth. And so, when the opportunity to play volleyball for free 15 minutes from Rupp Arena, Kentucky’s basketball home floor, presented itself to Hodges, she jumped at the chance.
Hodges will suit up next year for the Tigers, announcing her commitment to Georgetown on a full scholarship.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Hodges said. “Honestly, the reason why I chose Georgetown was because I have played volleyball all of my life and the goal has always been to get a scholarship because I have worked so hard at it. It was the right fit for me.”
Along with the proximity to the University of Kentucky, the schooling at Georgetown stood out to Hodges. Georgetown has been ranked one of the top schools in Kentucky over the past two years.
“They have international commerce and business marketing and entrepreneurship, and I would really like to own my own international business one day,” Hodges said. “Most people that I talked to said they got a job immediately after school. That and the location really. It wasn’t too far from home and it is so close to Kentucky.”
Hodges was not able to see as much as she wanted of the campus because of COVID-19 but said that the coaching staff was phenomenal and took care of her.
Hodges will be joining Georgetown College after a four-year stint at Morristown West. Hodges was a key component for the Lady Trojans, winning multiple honors including IMAC Player of the Year.
During her senior season, the Lady Trojans went 15-14, winning the regular season District 2-AAA title and making it all the way to the Region1-AAA semifinals before falling to Daniel Boone. Hodges went through a coaching change during her career, learning a lot from both coaches.
“When I started at West, Coach (Heather) Kelley was my coach,” Hodges said. “The mentality she brought was amazing. It was about how we needed to know how to win. And it built us together as a family. We had this environment where we all focused on the same things and we all wanted to win. It was amazing.
“Then, with Coach Natalee (Gruse) it was a lot different but positively. She was more focused on your performance and bettering yourself with your technique. The group that we had, we had eight seniors, we were a family. We always played together and had so much fun together. We wanted to win and do it as a family.”
With school closed and gyms having restrictions, the COVID-19 pandemic has actually helped Hodges’ fitness, who said that she has been running because of how bored she is. Hodges club gym, K2, which is based in Knoxville, has recently reopened, and she has been training there as well.
For now, Hodges is excited to begin her college career and is ready for the challenge.
“I feel like that I am very competitive and have already started varsity and been on the top club, but I know that I am going into an environment where all the girls are like that,” Hodges said. “They want playing time. So, I think for me, I need to work on having more endurance and being able to outperform for longer.”