By Becky Kimbrell-Norris
WAKEFIELD— Wakefield High School senior Darian Mack has signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball at the University of Kentucky.
Mack, who verbally committed to the school last year, made it official November 13, signing in front of friends, family and teammates during a signing celebration at Wakefield High School.
The 6 foot 1 hitter helped lead the Wolverines to their first 4A state championship and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after recording a double-double 18 kills and 24 digs in the title game against Hough High School.
Mack was also a Cap 8 All-Conference and All-Academic Player in 2012 and 2013 and served as captain of the Wolverines this season.
Her presence on the volleyball court this season was dominate in Wakefield’s first ever journey to the state championship. She produced winning kills along the way with her stellar play and ended the season with 318 kills, 63 aces and 229 digs.
She describes herself as an energetic player that is always willing to learn something new.
“I would also describe myself as someone who stays humble and positive while trying to motivate my teammates through a game,” she said.
Wakefield High volleyball coach Cynthia Terrell agrees.
“Darian is willing to do what it takes,” Terrell said. “She started out as a middle hitter then we moved her to the outside to utilize her talents more.”
“She is a well-rounded athlete who has been a big part of our success for the past four years,” Terrell added. “Darian is a very versatile player and gets the job done. She’s unselfish and is just a great team leader and it has been a pleasure to coach her and I wish her good luck at Kentucky.”
Mack said she chose the Wildcats for multiple reasons.
“I love the players and the coaching staff as they are one big happy family and they make you feel like you’re at home,” Mack said.
“Another reason I chose Kentucky is the academics and the last reason is the atmosphere surrounding the campus,” Mack added. “I love the city and everything it offers.”
Before she made her final decision, Mack said she considered the University of Arizona, the University of Akron, UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia.
The Wildcats are members of the Southeastern Conference and finished last season with a 14-6 conference record and 22-11 overall, making it to the NCAA Regional Semifinals.
“I am looking forward to competing at a high level and making history at Kentucky,” Mack said.
University of Kentucky head volleyball coach Craig Skinner said Mack is an athlete who will only get better.
“She is a great athlete with great character and during her college career, she will be driven to be the best,” Skinner said.
“Darian will have the opportunity to help us compete for championships here at Kentucky,” Skinner went on to say. “Her athletic ability and work ethic will make a great impact on our program here.”
Mack, who has been playing volleyball for five years, is also a member of the Triangle Volleyball Club in Morrisville, where she has been competing for two years.
She was also a 2010 Triple A Award winner for outstanding athletics, academics and attitude and was an American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 100 player to watch.
In addition, Mack is a member of the National Achievers Society and does volunteer work with elementary children.
At Kentucky, Mack said she has not decided on a major but is interested in studying physical therapy.
Mack is the daughter of Darren Mack and Renee Gresham and stepdaughter of Darryl Gresham and Latoya Mack.