Madison Kerr, a senior at Greater Atlanta Christian, has been playing volleyball since she was just 12 years old. She says, “I tried out for a very popular volleyball club called A5. I made one of the teams and immediately fell in love with the sport. . . . [After just one year], I fell in love with traveling to tournaments, my teammates, and my coaches.” And Madison has been in love with volleyball ever since. “Each year I played club, I was getting better and my love for the sport grew even more.”
Throughout her high school and club career, Madison switched off playing setter and right side hitter. During her high school sophomore year, she played for a club named Tsunami, and one of her teammates, Shaun Caitlin started a sand volleyball program, and invited Madison to play. Madison fell in love all over again. She says, “Ever since then [beginning to play on sand], I’ve been in love with sand volleyball. I love it more than indoor. . . . you get more touches on the ball, there are only two people [per team], and it is so much more ‘chill’ as I would call it. It is just you and one other girl, and that girl basically becomes your best friend. . . . I am a very versatile player so sand is a very good fit for me.”
In Madison’s junior year, her friend Shaun started a year-round program called Olympic College and Development Program (OCDP). It was at this time that Madison had to make a decision to go with indoor or sand, and she chose sand “in a heartbeat.” She has been playing sand volleyball exclusively ever since. She has a unique playing style that includes quickness, agility, and athleticism. She plays with power when necessary, but is also keenly aware of achieving success through court awareness, craftiness, and finesse.
Madison and her teammate are both naturals on sand. They have won lots of tournaments, and placed 9th at the Junior Olympics in California last year. Armed with all her indoor, school, and club experience, she is quickly becoming one of the nation’s premier sand players. She has impressed many, including college recruits. Madison recently accepted an offer from Mercer University to play sand volleyball beginning next year. She is the first-ever GAC Spartan to sign with a Division I sand volleyball team.
There is no doubt that Mercer knows what it is getting in Madison. She was offered bids to the 2013 AAU Junior Beach Nationals in Hermosa Beach, California, the 2013 USA Junior Beach Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the 2013 Southeast Junior Beach Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She was also invited to the USA Youth Girls Beach High Performance (A3) Program, and associated 2013 USA Beach High Performance Elite Camp.
All the effort that love brings has paid off. Madison is the power of passion personified. At Mercer University, she plans to major in Sports Business Management, and she offers that she will “play sand [volleyball] until I can’t play anymore.”
Given that she is still a teenager, Madison has lots of sand volleyball ahead of her.
Photography of Madison Kerr by Jonathan Phillips with several provided by the Kerr family.