For the past 2½ years, Faith Wise has been a manager for Kentucky’s volleyball team.
Last Saturday she was on the court celebrating with the Wildcats after they won the NCAA national championship, defeating Texas 3-1 in the title match.
“It was honestly unreal,” said Wise, a 2018 graduate of Franklin County High School. “I don’t even have the right words to describe the feeling. It’s been just crazy the past few days.”
Wise, a junior, has a multitude of duties with the team. She arrives about an hour before practice to get things set up and goes over the practice schedule with head coach Craig Skinner so she’ll know what drills will be run and have equipment in the right place for each drill.
She does laundry after practice, sets up and takes down the courts for practice, and she helps the team during pregame warmups.
Wise also acts as the team’s DJ, playing music during practice.
“That’s my favorite responsibility,” she said.
Wise played volleyball until her freshman year of high school, when she decided to concentrate on softball.
She attended Scott County for two years and then transferred to FCHS. Wise is the daughter of Beth and Tony Wise, and her father is the head boys basketball coach at Franklin County.
“I wasn’t happy at Scott County,” Wise said. “My dad was at Franklin County and I had a few friends there. Transferring there was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
“I loved everything about Franklin County. The people at Franklin County are passionate about the school, and that’s what I wanted.”
Wise played softball at FCHS and was on The State Journal's all-county team as a senior.
This season the Kentucky volleyball team dropped just one match on its way to a 24-1 record and the national championship.
That loss came on March 19 at Florida, where Wise’s aunt, Mary Wise, has been the head volleyball coach for 30 years.
“It was really weird my freshman year,” Wise said. “I didn’t know who to cheer for, but my sophomore year and this year, the UK volleyball team is my family. I love them dearly, and I want the best for them and to see them succeed.
“It’s a completely different dynamic, and Aunt Mary is very supportive.”
Wise, a nursing major, is on schedule to graduate in May 2022, and she plans to continue as a volleyball manager.
“All my roommates are volleyball players, and two are starters,” Wise said. “The team is so good, and they’re so passionate. I want the best for them. It’s been incredible.”