Walker not scared by high expectations

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.

“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.