Stories Lived


Tessa Grubbs learned her love for volleyball around the age of 13. At the beginning, she was everything but perfect. She was cut from the first team she tried out for, but made the eighth grade team the following year. Sadly, she sat the bench and barely received any time to touch a volleyball. Determined to be better she decided to take private lessons at a local volleyball club. After growing a small amount she decided to talk to one of the coaches about how to make it to the top. Instead of giving her positive advice and pushing her, he told her that she wasn’t worth all the money, that she needed to stop playing because she wasn’t getting better.

Tessa never stopped, she left the club and went to a new one called Carolina Union Volleyball Club. It was there that she met an amazing coach who taught her everything she knows. He saw the potential she had and worked with her until her skill was above the next two age groups. She became the captain of the volleyball team at Fort Mill High School and lead the team in kills. She inspired every girl on the team, and created a drive in them to be better.

Tessa received 13 scholarship offers but finally announced that she would be playing for University of Tennessee. She accepted the offer knowing that she wouldn’t be playing her first year there. She was red shirted but when practice and tournament season started she gave it her all. Quickly the coaches at TN realized that she wasn’t an ordinary freshman player. They decided to not red shirt her, and started her almost every game after that. She became a top scorer on the team and blew everyone’s minds with her power and knowledge of the game.

The passion for the game of volleyball brought Tessa Grubbs to the top. She never let anything get in her way, and continued to prove everyone wrong. It was her drive and headstrong attitude that got her to where she is today, and she’s not stopping now. She inspired young athletes everywhere, and proved that you may not be good in the beginning but a few years later you can be legendary.


About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Mackenzie McNabb

Mackenzie McNabb is a 17 year old girl who lives in the small town of Fort Mill, South Carolina. She loves to work with a camera and tell a story through a lens. She learned all of her skills from a Television class at Fort Mill High School. There, she works all week to produce a weekly broadcast show called, “The Buzz.” McNabb also works all year to produce the schools spirited and amazing yearbook called, “Yejacka.” She has a love for videography and journalism because she gets to hear other peoples stories. She has met amazing people who are dying for people to hear their story. She recently got accepted to the University of South Carolina for Broadcast Journalism and hopes to continue her work there. She hopes that one day she can inspire people with her work, and let people tell their own story.

McNabb got her story idea after playing volleyball alongside Tessa Grubbs for two years. She was one of the girls that felt inspired by Tessa’s persistence and constant growth as a player.

However, she couldn’t have got the story done without the help of her partner, Sydney Sigmon.  Sydney Sigmon is also a 17 year old living in Fort Mill and loves the television class. Her passion is videography, and she hopes to attend a four year school to study television production.

Both McNabb and Sigmon hope to use their skills to tell positive and life changing stories to the public. They hope to touch at least one person with every story they create.

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