Megan Wallin, a Sarasota native, is the founder of SpikeKey. Wallin was a triple threat in high school, lettering in track, basketball and volleyball. Wallin attended Michigan State University on an academic and athletic scholarship for volleyball; she was a captain of the team during her junior and senior years. For the last three years, Wallin has focused on playing beach volleyball and on running SpikeKey, which offers volleyball clinics on Siesta Key beach. Wallin has played all over the world and is gearing up for another season of beach volleyball competitions.
How did you end up playing volleyball in college?
As a freshman in high school (at Cardinal Mooney), I participated in track, basketball and volleyball into my senior year, and then there was a time where I had to decide if I wanted to play basketball or volleyball in college. The offer I received from Michigan State and the type of people whom I was going to be playing with for the next four years really changed my mind about volleyball.
What is different about playing volleyball on the beach versus on a hard surface?
Well, you have the different elements in beach volleyball. You have the wind, of course, the sun being the obvious factor and the different textures of the sand. So, yes, it is easier on your body, but it is harder to jump and move around in the sand versus playing on a hard platform.
Have you had any memorable beach volleyball moments?
My first professional tournament was in Boulder, Colo. I’m sure most of you know Misty May and Kerri Walsh, so we were playing them in center court inside the Boulder Arena. Yes, we did lose, but it was an experience and a memory I will never forget.
What is SpikeKey?
SpikeKey stands for Spiking — that’s my favorite part of volleyball — and Key stands for Siesta Key, the island that I grew up on. When I originally moved back I wanted a resource for other young players to play beach volleyball, so I started doing lessons and coaching on the beach. Then SpikeKey developed into a magazine, and now it’s a national beach-volleyball magazine distributed all around the U.S. and internationally.
Do you know someone who would make a great Athlete of the Week?
E-mail Rachel O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.