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OHS Senior Bounces Back from Cancer to Help Team Become Volleyball Champs

Torrey Tkach, Charger Volleyball Team Captain. Photo provided

Torrey Tkach, Charger Volleyball Team Captain, was told two years ago that she had a rare form of cancer that could prevent her from playing volleyball.

Tkach is now in her senior year at Oxford High School and has committed to play NCAA Division I volleyball at the University of Southern Mississippi. Tkach is the first in Oxford’s history to receive a full Division 1 scholarship for volleyball. 

During the summer prior to 10th grade, Tkach began experiencing back pain and numbness in her leg at volleyball practice.

“I just thought I needed to do more strength training and stretch more, so I went to physical therapy,” Tkach said.

After seeing Dr. Field, a local Orthopaedic Surgeon, she was referred for an MRI where a tumor was found on her spinal cord. The tumor was an Ependymoma – a central nervous system tumor that is most often found in children.

In September of her 10th-grade year, she underwent surgery to remove the tumor at the peak of the Charger volleyball season. Tkach, the 6-foot 2-inch middle hitter, missed the entire season of her 10th-grade season.

“I knew I would have to work harder than anyone else to get back on the court. It gave me a purpose and motivation in the gym. I wanted to prove to everyone that I could do it. If I hadn’t had this experience, I don’t think I would be as strong as I am now,” said Tkach.

Now at the two-year anniversary of her cancer, Tkach is looking forward to achieving her goal of playing collegiate volleyball.

“Her resilience to overcome the setback of cancer is what makes her a champion. She has worked so hard for all she has accomplished,” said Charger Volleyball Coach Ashley Martin.

Tkach helped the Oxford Chargers win the north-half state championship in 2021. Currently, the Chargers are undefeated in their district and hoping for their second-year chance at a state title. 

Courtesy of the OSD

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