Joseph Lillard – Sports Editor
Some athletes have long lines of families who have played the sports they excel in, but Mackenzie Biggs is a pioneer in her family.
Biggs says, “I am actually the first in my family to play volleyball. My mother played softball and she tried to interest me in the sport but I preferred fast-paced sports such as basketball and volleyball. I started playing volleyball in 7th grade. My gym teacher, Terry Borkovic was the high school volleyball coach at Hopewell and he encouraged me to try out for the junior high team.”
Biggs continued, “I started out with basketball but honestly once I began volleyball I just fell in love with the sport and it was my focus. I still continued to play basketball but in high school I switched club volleyball teams and began to concentrate on my goal of playing volleyball in college.”
With her love for the game in line, Biggs began looking to the next level.
“I started sophomore year after my high school team won the WPIAL final and went to the state championships. There were a lot of college coaches at states and after I began to receive emails and letters. Those initial contacts were the beginning but they progressed into campus visits and meetings with coaches and volleyball teams.”
What compelled her to that kind of competition?
Biggs says, “I think it was just the opportunity to keep playing and challenge myself to play at a higher level. It was a huge commitment but one I definitely do not regret.”
Her decision to represent the Golden Eagles was based on the success of the program.
“The reputation and winning volleyball program is what drew me to visit Clarion. I wanted to play for a competitive team, with players that enjoyed the game and coaches I respected. Clarion volleyball was all of those things and a perfect fit for me.”
Biggs learned quickly that this team was more than just that.
They were family.
Biggs recalls, “When I came in freshman year, the team was spontaneous and up for anything. We would learn dances with other teams or try human foam rolls during warm ups. A lot of my fondest memories were unplanned antics the upperclassmen thought were a good idea at that moment.”
Since her freshman year, Biggs saw the team maintain the level of fun, but they learned how to multitask.
Biggs continues, “Today, I think the team has grown less impulsive and matured overall but still a really fun group of great volleyball players and friends.”
When it comes to the legacy Biggs will leave at Clarion, she took a humble yet reflected with pride in her achievements as a player and a person.
Biggs says, “Legacy is a pretty big word, but I have to say, I am really proud of all my accomplishments at Clarion both on and off the court. My coaches, professors and teammates pushed me to become a more confident student and athlete. As far as the legacy, I think that is bigger than one player. The legacy is the competitive teams that Clarion volleyball consistently produces and I believe that will continue far into the future.”
Biggs has her sights set on professional advancement.
Through that advancement, she hopes to make a difference in the lives of the children she will work with.
In short, her future plans include selflessly giving her time to others for the betterment of society.
“I am currently studying for my GRE exam and applying to grad schools. I hope to earn my masters in speech language pathology in the next few years. My ultimate goal is to work with children experiencing speech disorders in an early intervention type setting.”