Bison Athlete of the Week: Blake Buchholz ’19, Volleyball

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Devan Schulte , Senior Writer

Blake Buchholz ’19 may be a new face to the Bison volleyball program, but her performances thus far into her freshman campaign will surely make her one of the league’s top players to remember. The Wisconsin native had an outstanding showing on Nov. 7 in the team’s fourth straight sweep of Loyola. Thanks largely to Buchholz’s impressive performance, the Bison’s record improved to .500, and the team’s record currently stands at 12-12 overall and 6-8 in league play.

“Going into the Loyola match, our team knew that we swept Loyola earlier this season, so we wanted to stay consistent by playing them tough again and pressuring Loyola to make the errors. Loyola has a big block, so as a small outside hitter I had to make sure that my attack was both smart and aggressive to score,” Buchholz said. 

The team won three consecutive sets with scores of 25-22, 25-13, and 25-20, placing them alone in fifth in the conference standings. Buchholz totaled 14 kills in the match and recorded no errors on 23 attempts for a .609 hitting percentage. She also provided strong support on the back line by collecting a team-high nine digs. Buchholz leads the team with 269 digs and ranks fourth on the squad in total blocks this season with 32.

Though she has only worn Orange and Blue for three months, Buchholz already feels at home with the tight-knit group of girls she plays alongside every day. 

“The seniors immediately made me feel welcomed on the team. They have had significant roles in the team’s success this season and they will be greatly missed next year,” Buchholz said. 

The Orange and Blue have two more matches to close out their season, and Buchholz hopes to end the year on a high note.

“For the last two matches of the season I plan to play the best volleyball of the year and hopefully finish with a winning record,” Buchholz said. 

Despite her hopes for success in the next few weeks, Buchholz recognizes the importance of growth and development once this season comes to a close. The offseason is extremely important for athletes to focus on strength training, conditioning, and becoming more tactical and strategic players. Buchholz is hoping to utilize the spring semester workouts to become a better all-around player.

“My goals for the offseason are to continue to build on the foundation that Coach Anna has started this season and continue to grow in strength, dominance, and presence on the court,” Buchholz said. 

With three years left to represent the Bison on the court, Buchholz will have many opportunities to wear the Orange and Blue proudly. She has found great success during her freshman campaign and she will continue to develop as a player, thanks to the guidance and encouragement of those around her.

“Bucknell offers great all-around support to its student-athletes and I am very happy to have such a great coach,” Buchholz said.

The team will take on Army West Point and Holy Cross at home on Nov. 13-14. If the Bison are able to secure two wins, Buchholz will succeed in achieving her goals for the rest of the season. With her determination and work ethic, these goals are bound to keep expanding in the years to come past her rookie season.

 

2015 stats:

Rookie of the Week: Nov. 9, 2015

Sets Played: 87 

Kills: 222 

Digs: 269

Blocks: 32

 

 

 

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