By Jeff White (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Put a microphone in her hands, and Madison Morey is a natural. That was clear to anyone who saw her hyping up the crowd last Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena, where Virginia knocked off North Carolina in women’s basketball.
The in-game host for women’s games at JPJ is often Karlie Smith, and Morey, a fourth-year UVA student, began shadowing her in December. As the season has progressed, Morey’s role as emcee during games has grown, and her mentor is one of her biggest fans.
“I think what’s awesome about Madison is she’s just so genuine and kind,” Smith said, “and she just brings a light to whatever she’s doing. It doesn’t matter if she’s on camera, off camera, in the pregame meal, or throwing T-shirts. Whatever the case, you can tell that she’s just a genuine, lovely person to be around.”
When they began working together at JPJ, Morey said, Smith helped her overcome any nervousness she might have had about speaking in front of a crowd that size. Smith’s support has allowed her to “build confidence in myself and just go out there and be like, ‘All right, I’m gonna knock this out of the park,’ ” Morey said. “She’s been nothing but the best.”
Morey will be back at JPJ on Friday night to serve as host for UVA’s wrestling dual meet with Virginia Tech. She’s accustomed to performing in front of crowds. Morey, who’s from Marietta, Ga., played volleyball at Virginia for four seasons. A series of concussions ended her career prematurely, but she remains connected to athletics.
A media studies major, Morey has long dreamed of reporting on sports, but she always envisioned herself focusing on football.
“I never thought that I would actually be interested in doing volleyball,” she said.
That changed after she landed an internship with Volleyball Adrenaline, a service that primarily covers the sport at the high school and club level. In December, Morey and UVA teammate Ciera Hecht conducted interviews for Volleyball Adrenaline at the NCAA tournament’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla. Last month, Morey traveled to Orlando, Fla., for the Under Armour All-America game, which featured many of the top recruits in the high school Class of 2024.
“We shot content, created social media posts, and did interviews with the girls and basically just put it up on our site,” Morey said. “And when we talked to committed girls, we just asked…