Men's volleyball stud revisits shooting

Taylor Tattersall just led the Santa Monica College men’s volleyball team to the state championship just one year after finishing an abysmal 1-10.

A year ago, he was a red-shirt freshman focused on elevating the reputation of the team through a grinding offseason and relentless practice.

But before Tattersall could even begin his offseason regimen, the unthinkable happened. Santa Monica College was the site of a shooting rampage.

“I was not at campus, I was at home. I got some texts and calls, people you haven’t talked to in five years," said Tattersall. "It was devastating to hear that, you just never know.”

Born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California, Tattersall had to convince his parents to let him come to SMC.

“I kind of had to persuade my family to come to SMC. It was definitely a wake up call, but there was no apprehension on returning to SMC afterwards.”

Even though Tattersall was not on campus during the shooting, that was not the case for the entire volleyball team. In fact one of the most important players to the functionality of the team, just so happened to be right in the middle of class.

“Our setter Casey Dunn, he sent me a text saying he and his classmates were being escorted off campus by police and that he walked by the shooters body,” said Tattersall. “I don’t think they were aware of what had actually happened.”

It seems the events of last June, have not affected Tattersall’s commitment to his studies or his athletic dreams. If anything it has made him that much more focused on his goal.

“I would like to go play at a four-year college, keep my options open. Get better at volleyball and hopefully go to a four-year, that’s my goal," said Tattersall. "I would also like to go play overseas, you never know.”

Whether it’s playing overseas, or teaching the next generation the ins and outs of the game, it looks like volleyball will definitely be in Tattersall’s future.

“Coaching would be cool. You have to get your nose in there and become well known,” said Tattersall. “But I wouldn’t mind coaching volleyball. It’s something I love. I’d like to teach little kids if they’re willing to learn, and put forth the effort.”

When Tattersall isn’t in the classroom or on the court, he can usually be found down at the beach. If you think he’s down there chasing babes and hanging out with friends, well actually you would be right. But he’s also hones his craft through beach volleyball.

“I’m on the beach all the time. When I’m not in the classroom, I like to be on the beach,” said Tattersall. “Whether it’s getting better at volleyball, hanging out with friends, or working out, I’m just trying to accomplish my goal of playing at a four-year college.”