• Loading KStateSports Tweets...
    1 second ago

Holcomb's Long Time Dream Comes True

July 14, 2014
By Kelly McHugh

Freshman middle blocker Makenzie Holcomb is no stranger to K-State volleyball.

In 2001, as a wide-eyed five-year-old, Holcomb sat in the stands of Ahearn Field House and watched as her aunt, Lisa Martin (K-State 2001-04), began her Wildcat career. 

As a child, traveling from her hometown of Wichita to watch Martin play was one of Holcomb's favorite things to do. Sitting among the purple-clad fans, it was there that her passion for both the sport and the Wildcats was sparked and began to grow.  

An exciting era to follow the K-State volleyball program, Holcomb cheered from the sidelines in 2003 as her aunt helped K-State to its best season in program history and watched as it won its first-ever conference championship. 

"My aunt played a huge impact on my decision to come here," Holcomb said about Martin, a two-time All-Big 12 Honorable Mention performer who holds K-State's record for block assists by a senior in a single season. "I remember coming to her games and coming to watch her play; I wanted to be out there so bad. She's been a huge inspiration in my life, and I remember I just always wanted to follow in her footsteps."

The memories made as a child in Ahearn Field House are memories that the now six-foot middle blocker hasn't forgotten. They are memories that only make her upcoming career as a Wildcat even sweeter.

A 2014 graduate of Derby High School, Holcomb lettered three years for the Panthers in volleyball. Though she sat out her senior season due to knee surgery, Holcomb earned honorable mention all-league honors as a junior in 2012 after leading Derby in aces (34) and finishing second in kills (202) and blocks (54). 

A player fans can expect to bring energy and excitement to the court, Holcomb is one of six incoming freshmen on the 2014 K-State roster and hopes to make a positive impact on the team any way she can.

"I really have a lot of passion for the game," explained Holcomb. "If there's a big block or hit or if someone does a good dig, I really get into it. I'm loud. I like to have fun. I bring a lot of spirit and fun to the game.

"My goals here are to make some kind of an impact on the team, connect with a whole bunch of different people, players, coaches, meet new people and just have a great time."

While aspiring to be like her aunt may have played a big role in Holcomb's decision to come to K-State, there were many other positive factors about the school and volleyball program that also influenced her.

"I came to K-State because I grew up around the area and I just love the atmosphere and the people here," began Holcomb. "Everyone is so nice and welcoming.  I really love the family atmosphere."

Because she also coached Martin, Holcomb had the opportunity to become familiar with the coaching style of K-State head coach Suzie Fritz from a young age. 

"I'm so excited to play for (Fritz)," Holcomb said, her smile growing wider. "I remember coming to games to watch my aunt, and thinking she's just an amazing person; not just an amazing coach, but a person. She cares about everyone here and makes sure you feel welcome."

Ready to hit the court, Holcomb and the rest of the K-State volleyball squad has spent the summer in Manhattan preparing and training for the upcoming season.

Playing volleyball at K-State has been a long-time dream of hers, and now, it's her time to shine.

"I remember sitting in the stands, wishing I could be out there and be a part of that," said Holcomb. "Now that I am, it's kind of weird. It's been one of my big dreams."

 

We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact Kelly McHugh or K-State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.