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Kendahl Voelker was always the new kid. Born in Jacksonville, Fla., the 6-0 fourth year lived on both coasts of the United States, in addition to England, Canada and Saudi Arabia all before starting middle school. Deeming herself, “comfortable being uncomfortable,” Voelker credits her ability to adjust to her childhood.

“I’m going to sound just like coach Maes when I say this, but I am comfortable being uncomfortable,” Voelker said. “Everywhere I went, I was always the new kid, but I learned to adapt. I’ve learned to take something out of everything and learn something from it. You need to be able to be comfortable in any situation.”

Coming to Virginia, the right side hitter had no problems adjusting. Making an immediate impact in her freshman season, Voelker garnered All-ACC Freshman Team accolades for her accomplishments as a newcomer.

Now, with her four years of being a Cavalier on the brink of coming to a close, Voelker has hopes that she is able to give back to a sport that has given so much to her.

“I love coming into the gym and playing something that has given me such joy and opportunity,” Voelker said. “When I’m done playing, I want to do something that allows me to coach at any level that I can. That motivates me to come into the gym every day and learn as much as possible so I can pass it on to someone else and know that they’ll be better for it.”

But before Voelker can give back, she must finish her final season of eligibility. In doing so, rather than being the so-called “new kid,” she will appreciate being a part of something that has become familiar to her.

“I don’t have any family here, so this team has become my family,” Voelker said. “The people and relationships I’ve made here are irreplaceable. I love them, they love me, and we do what we love to do on the court every day. They keep the fire inside.”

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