Athlete of the Week: Christy Swartzendruber
Eva Dwyer – Horizon Sports Editor
Ask anyone what they think of Christy Swartzendruber and inevitably they’ll say the same thing: She’s incredibly friendly. And that’s been an asset to her as she works to bring the volleyball team together.
“Christy’s friendliness is something that has helped us, as a team, grow closer, said Jessanna Nebel, a freshman teammate. “She is always encouraging us in practices and games and gives us tips on new skills to try.”
Swartzendruber (Shickley, Neb.) has proven to her coach and teammates that she’s a leader. Her positivity, humbleness, and welcoming spirit to freshmen teammates are key.
“Christy is always positive, and makes practices, road trips, and meals a fun time,” said Brooke Hershberger, a sophomore teammate. “She is always there with a laugh or quick comment.”
Not only is Swartzendruber a positive personality on the court, she’s also making national ratings: She’s #32 in kills/set, #34 in digs/set, and #44 in total digs. Nebel describes her as “being skilled in pretty much everything.”
Hesston’s head volleyball coach, Jessica Cleveland agrees.
“She jumps well, moves well, reads well, and has a fast arm swing,” she said. “She does not let height affect her hitting ability. She is able to put a ball straight down with confidence.”
Despite the confidence, teammates describe her as a humble leader. Every good thing that happens on the court, she wants to share the experience with her close-knit team.
“From the beginning, we seemed to mesh well, and it’s only gotten better since then,” Swartzendruber said. “The freshmen have been awesome this year, too. They’re so fun to be around, and I enjoy everyone’s company.”
Even in the wake of losing Sophomore Karli Rodriguez to an injury, Swartzendruber sets her sights on nationals.
“As of right now, we’re sitting in the middle of the conference, so I think if we continue to improve, we could have a chance to go to nationals, and that would be an awesome way to end the season.”