SAN ANTONIO, Texas – It has been a whirlwind week for Kara McGhee and Caroline Meuth.
The two San Antonio volleyball standouts earned an opportunity to showcase their talents on the national stage -- in the Under-Armour All-American Match in Minneapolis this past Friday.
"My coach actually announced it to our team right before one of our games this season, and everyone was so excited," McGhee said. "Getting the chance to experience, grow and develop as a person and a player on that stage was a lot of fun."
"I have been to Minneapolis because that's where Nationals was for club volleyball this year, but I've never played in front of that many people." Meuth said. "Having cameramen filming us and all that is an amazing experience."
Meuth (Churchill High School) and McGhee (Clark High School) are the first representatives from the San Antonio area at the All-American Match since 2013. What makes their selection even more special: San Antonio was the only city in the nation represented by more than one player.
"Having two players from this city shows how competitive volleyball is down here in Texas, especially San Antonio," Meuth explained. "I'm really proud to represent San Antonio because I've always lived here and it's been my home. I want to do San Antonio proud by playing well in this match."
"It's awesome because we are such good friends," said McGhee. "It's fun to experience that together. Representing San Antonio is a big deal, and it's also a big deal to represent my high school."
After spending some time getting to know, and practice with, the other All-American players, the two San Antonio natives took the court at the Target Center Friday night and led Team West to a sweep of Team East. After the game, McGhee received a special honor, being selected as the Gatorade "Heart and Hustle" Player of the Year.
But aside from the honor and prestige of being selected, the most essential component of the trip to Minneapolis was learning how to compete at the next level. On the Thursday night prior to playing in their own match, McGhee and Meuth watched the NCAA Division I Volleyball National semifinals with the rest of their teammates -- a glimpse of the stage where both hope to be playing in the coming years. McGhee is committed to play for Baylor next season, while Meuth will play for Notre Dame.
"The level is going to increase exponentially from high school, and this is a good stepping stone to get me acclimated," said Meuth. "Everyone we're playing against is really good and everyone was the best in high school. It's going to be really tough playing against these girls and this is going to help me with that."
"I think playing in this will give me an insight into what college will be like," said McGhee. "I think it'll be tougher and the game will be more exciting. It will be faster, so I've been more mentally preparing for that. They're going to make us so much better. Even if I look dumb on the court, it's definitely going to make me look so much better for when I go to college."
Regardless of what the future holds, both players made lasting memories on their trip to Minneapolis, and they both leave lasting legacies here in San Antonio.