Kadara Marshall’s passion for sports runs deep and after spending two seasons at Western Nebraska Community College playing volleyball, the 5-foot-9 middle hitter will be heading to the next level to participate in two sports – volleyball and track and field.
Marshall made it official Monday afternoon, inking a letter of intent with Dickinson State University in North Dakota in front of a a packed room of teammates, coaches, friends, and dorm families.
“I decided to go there because I get to dual sports in volleyball and track and field,” the sophomore from Hawaii said. “Not only that, the culture and the community I experienced when I went on a visit felt like WNCC as a community and a family. That is important to me.”
The opportunity to do two sports was something that she couldn’t resist, either.
“I always wanted to do track and field in college from high school, but then I decided to just focus on volleyball,” she said. “When I got the opportunity to do both it was like a sign. I said I am going to do it because I always wanted to do it.”
At Waiakea High in Hilo, Hawaii, Marshall was a state champion in the triple jump in her senior year with a jump of 37 feet, 6 ½ inches. She also finished third in the long jump with a leap of 17-5 ¼. Because of those jumps, she became her high school’s first female athlete ever to win a state championship.
But after she finished jumping at the Hawaii state meet, it was time to hang up her track spikes as well as her soccer spikes and enter two seasons playing volleyball for the Cougars. Marshall was a 3-sport athlete in high school.
In Marshall’s two years with the Cougars, she helped them to two Region IX South titles and berths in the national tournament. This past season, the middle hitter pounded home 113 kills with 12 ace serves, 25 solo blocks, and 52 total blocks.
At Dickinson State, she not only will be playing volleyball but track and field. She is looking forward to the dual roles when she heads to Dickinson State in January.
“I am super excited to be doing track and field,” she said. “In high school, I was a tri-sport athlete so it was something that I was always on the go. It felt kind of normal to me but I know it will be different. But once I get into my routine, I will enjoy it.”
But it will be hard for Marshall to leave WNCC and her friends. Marshall recalled all the friendships that she made, including Sophie Lau, who injured her knee early in the season and went back to Germany for her knee operation. Lau joined the signing by watching Marshall sign via Facebook Live.
“I have so many memories from this school,” a teary-eyed Marshall said. “I really love everyone that I talked with. Everyone means so much for me even the people I just say hi to everyday. It means a lot because you know everyone and I have a connection with everyone here. I am going to miss everyone so much that it is crazy. I love them all.”
Marshall recalled how special winning the school’s 19th straight title was, topping NJC for the Region IX South championship.
“I love this team. From the start we were close,” she said. “Just the things we went through, you wouldn’t get with any other team, but we persevered through everything. The fact that we came back to secure the regional title even though we lost to NJC twice was really big. We also lost our biggest cheerleader early in the season and we still miss her to this day. Even though she wasn’t here, she was still with us. I think that helped us a lot. I love these girls.”
At Dickinson State, Marshall will major in sports management. In parting, Marshall was thankful for all the support she received during her time at WNCC.
“I am so thankful to everyone that is here and that is not here,” she said. “I love you so much. Leaving is so hard.”