Zwer, a native of Brighton, Iowa, was an exceptional athlete through her years at Washington High School. She also played softball in the spring, a testament to Zwer's athletic abilities.
Not only is the 5-foot-1 libero athletic, she excels in the classroom. Zwer was named to the Academic All-Conference team during her time as a Demon.
"Tara is an exciting addition to the group of scholar-athletes who call Graceland their volleyball home," said a proud McDole. "Tara and her family specifically sought out our university and our program. That's impressive."
"I chose Graceland because I liked the small community and small University," said Zwer. "The pre-med major along with pre-forensic science really caught my eye because I am taking a college course in forensic science next semester. If I enjoy that, I'll always have that option, along with the minor in Spanish because it seems like many colleges don't have spanish as a minor.
"Then, of course, the volleyball program is absolutely amazing."
The pre-med major and Spanish minor also is extremely excited about the opportunities after her days at Graceland, putting her GU education to use.
"My ultimate dream is to become a medical examiner. After I graduate from Graceland, I want to further my education and eventually become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. I would hope to do a residency and work as a D.O. for a while. If I still want to become a medical examiner, I'll do another residency in forensic pathology."
It's clear that Zwer has big dreams, but it was the little things that attracted her to GU and the volleyball program.
"When I came to tryouts, I was extremely nervous. The coaches and players made it so much easier for me. They were very welcoming, more so than I had expected. Coach McDole sat me down and gave me some things to critique in a way he taught as a coach versus what I had been taught. He was very helpful."
Zwer also hopes to carry on her high school accolades to the court at the Closson Center.
"I feel like I will be a good asset to the team. I absolutely love the sport and play it to have fun and to win. I am very determined and practice as hard as anyone else. Winning best defensive player of the year for my team, receiving honorable mention for a position I started playing just last year, being in the top-ten for the most digs as well as highest serving percentage in school history, I hope I can continue these accomplishments at Graceland."
McDole clearly echoes Zwer's sentiments and has high hopes for the 2012 high school graduate.
"Tara is a proven court performer and a proven academic performer. On the court, she is a platform player who will make her volleyball contribution in defensive and libero roles. In the classroom, she has chosen a difficult academic path, one I'm sure she will succeed in. She is a talented athlete with a special passion for our game. We think she brings a lot to the Yellowjacket table.
"Her future will be fun to share."