Starting A New Era

Tatum Lockhart ‘hits’ the beach


VYPE Media

Tatum Lockhardt poses for VYPE Media Day and the 2022 season photoshoot.

For senior Tatum Lockhardt, volleyball is more than a sport or a chance to blow off some steam from a hard day’s work. Playing libero on the court, Lockhardt serves as a defensive specialist to add more control to the ball. The libero’s main responsibility on offense is to take the lead and pass the ball, allowing her teammates to properly run as well as dig on defense to keep the play alive. 

As Klein Oak volleyball heads into playoff and prepares to close its season, Lockhardt is meeting her 1000 digs goal in her career, making her one of the top players for the team.

“Tatum is a leader on the court, being vocal in matches and practices, pushing her teammates to work hard,” Coach DaVette McCall said. “She always encourages energy throughout the match and stays focused on the task at hand.”

Like many people, Lockhardt started playing her favorite sport at a very young age. Her desire for volleyball came with a little help from her family. When she turned six, she started playing for her dad’s YMCA team and soon fell in love with the sport.

One of my favorite early childhood memories is during practice when my dad stood in a zone and told us that if we hit him we would get cupcakes,” Lockhardt said. “I quickly ran under the net with the ball and threw it right into his face. I had to sit out of practice for the rest of the week, but it is a memory I will always cherish.” 

Having a family that is big into athletics gave her the chance to stay involved. Passing down his love of the game kept her going, and she gives plenty of credit to her father for getting her involved with volleyball.

“My dad committed to baseball when he was in high school but soon realized that he loved volleyball more,” Lockhardt said. “He ended his scholarship and started playing volleyball, and he coached me and my two other sisters growing up.” 

Not only is there plenty of passion and competitiveness on the court, but she also happens to participate in beach volleyball. After playing indoor club volleyball for four years, she found her love for beach volleyball and decided to quit indoor to play full-time. She has started her first year playing primarily as a defender in beach doubles for Third Coast Volleyball Club, a premier beach volleyball facility in Houston and well-revered throughout the entire Gulf Coast.

“In beach volleyball, it is more individual and focused on your own plays rather than 5 other people,” Lockhardt said. “Usually, when going into a game you have a person who you ‘go after’. I’m the defender so I’m usually that person that goes for the ball.”

All of her hard work and dedication to the sport is paying off. Not only was she very successful on the court but also off the court and in the classroom, something that every student-athlete dreams of. Including volleyball, Lockhardt is involved in the National Honor Society, NHS, and volunteers with youth kids at church. After some debate on which college to attend, Lockhardt’s deciding factor was Nicholls State University Beach Volleyball. 

Lockhardt’s passion for volleyball will continue to grow for many more years to come.

“From when I started playing, I’ve been so passionate about volleyball because of the adrenaline I get as well as the fun I have playing the game,” Lockhardt said. “For me, volleyball is an escape from everything else and when I play I just focus on the sport and I love the competitiveness.”