Heather Thorson, a 6-foot-3 senior middle blocker, has started the last 71 matches for the Creighton volleyball team and has been a key part of its 17-3 start. The Bluejays’ next match is Saturday against Drake.
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Q: Is the 17-3 (8-1 Missouri Valley) start the best one you have had in your four years at Creighton?
A: Yeah, it definitely is. It’s really exciting to be off to this start, but we still have to be focused on one game at a time and not get wrapped up in all that.
Q: There have been a number of freshmen who are getting significant playing time this year. Did you expect them to come in and contribute in the ways they have?
A: I didn’t really know for sure what to expect, but obviously we always have great recruits coming in. They’ve come in and done an awesome job. They’re playing really well on the court and we’re bonding really well off of it.
Q: You mentioned that you guys are getting along well off the court. What kinds of things do you like to do together when you’re not playing volleyball?
A: We do different things. Going to dinner, movies and other sporting events. So yeah, we do hang out a lot off the court.
Q: Your team just beat UNI a few weeks ago, ending its 59-match MVC winning streak. Was that the first time you have personally defeated the Panthers?
A: Yeah, it’s actually my first time beating them. It was really exciting, but as exciting as it was, our coach always says the biggest game is the next game, so this weekend, our biggest game is against Drake.
Q: Do you feel like you (and fellow seniors Megan Bober and Brooke Boggs) are the leaders of this team? How do you keep your team grounded with the success you have had so far this season?
A: I definitely think we have taken on a bigger leadership role. Part of being a good leader is having good followers. I think we have an awesome team and they make leading and staying on the right track easy. It’s really nice to lead a team that is so bought into what we are working toward.
Q: What are the strengths of this team? Do you think those strengths allow you to match up with tougher competition, like in the NCAA tournament?
A: I think that we show a lot of composure. We’ve had games where we’ve been on the road down two sets, like at Kansas, and have come back and won. I think that’s huge for us this year, to have the confidence to work our way out of a hole.
Q: What kind of goals do you have for the rest of the season now that you’ve reached the midway point of conference play?
A: Obviously a huge goal is winning the MVC tournament. That gets you a bid into the NCAA tournament, which is another goal. As much as it would be nice to get an at-large bid, we don’t want to rely on the bid committee. We’d rather just put ourselves in the position to get the bid as MVC champions.
Q: What will you remember most about your time playing volleyball at Creighton?
A: It’s been so much fun. It’s been this huge family that I didn’t realize I was coming into. They’ve embraced me and taken me in. It’s been a great experience to make all these connections.