MISSOULA, Mont. - The sport of volleyball has always been a huge passion in the life of Krista Hunton.
"My sister played and I watched her play. I watched the Sentinel varsity team play since I was in third grade. I'm just in love with the game."
However when this Missoula Sentinel senior was only seven years old she was diagnosed with scoliosis, a medical condition resulting from an unhealthy curve in her spine. By the time she reached sixth grade, things had gotten much worse.
"I hadn't had it checked out in about five years, so I went back and it was severe, very severe," recalled Hunton. "So they told me that I had to have my spine fused, so I have two titanium rods on both sides of my spine."
It took about two and a half months after the surgery until Hunton could return to school and resume normal physical activities, but her athletic career would be forever affected by her condition.
"I still have limitations today even," said Hunton. "I get tired faster than any other girl just because of my back. I just worked through it, I had to and I wanted to. It's been hard but it's definitely been worth it."
After a terrific career as an all-state player for the Sentinel Spartans, Hunton reached yet another dream earlier this spring when she signed her official letter of intent to be a college volleyball player at Montana Western next year.
"It's always been my passion to play college ball," said Hunton. "I mean it's awesome just to be able to step foot in that gym and I'm just so excited. It's going to be a blast."
Overcoming the odds and becoming a college athlete was the first main goal for Krista Hunton, but now she's not just satisfied being on the roster.
"I definitely have the attitude to get a starting spot on that court," smiled Hunton. "Even as a freshman I don't care, I'll work as hard as I have to in order to play and hopefully help the team win."