Senior Looks Forward to Final Season

Simpson University Sports News


REDDING, Calif. - Senior communication major Taylor Lukehart from Eagle, Idaho reluctantly got involved in volleyball 11 years ago when her mother made her attend her first tryout. Now, Taylor’s love for volleyball has grown and she is an important part of Simpson University’s volleyball team.

Taylor first heard about Simpson when she received information about the school in the mail. She knew she wanted to attend a small Christian liberal arts college and play volleyball. Taylor’s Simpson admission counselor, former assistant volleyball coach Valerie Hiner, convinced her to attend a recruitment weekend.

“I loved the team,” Taylor said. “They made me feel so welcome.”

Taylor is starting her fourth year as a member of Simpson’s volleyball team. During her freshman season, Simpson’s volleyball team made it to the NCCAA DI National Championship for the first time in school history. Even though the team finished tied for ninth overall, Taylor said going to Nationals was one of the highlights of playing for Simpson.

Taylor said she was excited for the season and to meet the new players who are joining the team. She is also looking forward to playing for new head women’s volleyball coach Christy Swagerty-Vilas.

“Coach Swagerty-Vilas will do great things for the program,” she said. “She’s setting the bar really high. She’s a go-getter and a positive role model for Simpson.”

Taylor first met Swagger two years ago when she starting coaching volleyball for NBC Camps, an organization that hosts national and international sports camps. Taylor got involved in coaching for NBC Camps through her on-campus job in the Conference Services department.

“I really like working with the younger girls who haven’t played before,” she said.

Taylor is also involved in Redding’s Young Life program, an international ministry that encourages Christians to build relationships with youth in their local communities. She has been a part of Young Life since she started attending the program in middle school. Taylor said her dream job would be to do PR for a non-profit organization such as Young Life.

For the 2009-2010 school year, Taylor is going to be a Resident Assistant on third floor of the Morgan-Sharpe dormitory. She has lived in the dorms the last three years. During this time, she has gained knowledge about campus life which she is excited to share with the girls on her floor.

“I have a passion for people trying to figure out what they are doing. I want to be encouraging and a listening ear,” Taylor said.

Story by Elise Wilson

Contact: Derrick Pringle, Jr.
(530) 226-4731