From the Golden State to the Hoosier State, sophomore opposite hitter Avry Tatum found her path to Indiana volleyball. Tatum, a Solana Beach, California native, played her first year of collegiate volleyball a few hours from Bloomington at the University of Cincinnati.
Tatum played in 24 matches during her freshman year for the Bearcats. She ended her freshman campaign with 215 kills hitting .205 on the season.
Tatum gained her love of volleyball from her mother, Ashley Tatum. Although her mom never went on to play at the collegiate level, she helped with Tatum’s recruiting process and deciding where to play during her college career.
During Tatum’s high school years, Indiana associate coach Rachel Morris — also a California native — coached Tatum at the club level. Morris built a relationship with Tatum, helping her grow through the game and through the recruitment process.
Tatum originally chose Cincinnati, which is a part of the Big 12 Conference. There, she played in 86 sets her first year and tallied double-digit kills in 12 matches.
Once Tatum finished her freshman season, she decided it was best for her to enter her name into the transfer portal and explore other opportunities. After entering the portal, she informed Morris of her decision to transfer and inquired if there was any interest from Indiana.
Tatum decided to take a visit and fell in love with Bloomington and committed to Indiana in May of 2023.
“I really love the community and the people; everyone has been so welcoming,” Tatum said.
Although it's only been one weekend of matches in Bloomington for Tatum, she noted how impressed she was with the atmosphere inside Wilkinson Hall and all-around Bloomington. Unlike at Cincinnati, Indiana’s Wilkinson Hall is a facility specifically designed for volleyball.
"Just knowing we can come in here anytime of the day every day of the week and get extra reps is just absolutely insane,” Tatum said.
Tatum already put up some big numbers in Indiana’s victory over Radford University on August 23. She ended the match hitting .500 with 12 kills and four blocks in the three-set victory. The next home match to see Tatum and company in person will be their Big Ten opener at 8 p.m. Sept. 20 at Wilkinson Hall in Bloomington.