Walker not scared by high expectations

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 26, 2021

Sometimes I think we can all forget that major college athletes are not that much different from a lot of us.

Sophomore libero Riah Walker could be a key player for the UK’s defending national champion volleyball team.

That doesn’t scare her. But guess what does? Frogs.

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“I hate them. That is my biggest fear,” Walker said. “Growing up in Florida, frogs have always been traumatic to me. I have just always been scared of them. They are just slimy and jump on you. Fortunately I have not seen any frogs in Kentucky and hope I don’t.”

Yet she had no fear at age 7 when her sisters influenced her to start playing volleyball.

“My two older sisters started playing when they were young and I wanted to be like them, so I started playing,” Walker said. “My older sisters tried basketball and soccer and didn’t like them. I just went to volleyball.

“I played with my second oldest sister in high school and club because I always played up. She reminds me of (former UK All-American) Madison (Lilley). She was a setter and was always on everyone. She was tougher on me because I was her sister but that gave me thick skin.”

Her oldest sister played beach volleyball at Florida International University.

“I played beach volleyball when I was younger but liked indoor more, so I just stuck with that and I am glad I did,” Walker said.