BC volleyball standout Mackenzie Hernandez leaves scholarship money on table for walk-on opportunity at Arizona | Bakersfield Life

Mackenzie Hernandez had two distinct options when it came time to decide her post-Bakersfield College volleyball future.

The Bakersfield High graduate could either pursue a scholarship opportunity to play for one of several “small” colleges that were recruiting her or she could walk on at a larger school.

The decision was an easy one for the highly competitive Hernandez. Having always wanted to play big-time college volleyball, the 5-foot-11 setter left the financial aid money on the table and made the choice to attend the University of Arizona this fall as a preferred walk-on.

That means she’s guaranteed a spot on the Wildcats’ roster and will receive all the benefits, sans scholarship money, that the other players on the team receive.

“I wanted to go to a high (Division I) school because I wanted to challenge myself,” Hernandez said. “I wanted to test myself to see if I could do it because I knew it would be so difficult. I’ve always wanted to play volleyball in college and I’ve always wanted to go the highest I could go.”

Hernandez’s move to one of the top college volleyball programs in the country comes after an impressive sophomore season in which she led BC to a Western State-East Conference championship and automatic spot in the Southern California Regional Playoffs.

“We had a lot freshman so it was a little rough in the beginning of the season but once we kind of got in the flow, we started clicking very well as a team,” Hernandez said. “We did so good.”

Hernandez, a team co-captain, paced the Renegades (20-9) in several statistical categories, including assists (524), assists per set (6.09), service aces (39) and service aces per set (0.38). She was also second on the team in digs (178) and digs per set (2.07).

Because of her outstanding play, she was selected to the All-Southern California Regional…

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