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Published: Wednesday, 9/29/2010

Stritch volleyball standout at home at Lourdes

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Alex Blazevich, left, and teammates Adrienne Kanitz and Lauren Hunt talk with coach Greg Reitz during Lourdes' opening volleyball game last month. Alex Blazevich, left, and teammates Adrienne Kanitz and Lauren Hunt talk with coach Greg Reitz during Lourdes' opening volleyball game last month.
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Alex Blazevich wanted to play volleyball in college after spending four years on the varsity team at Cardinal Stritch.

She didn't have to look far for the opportunity.

Blazevich is a member of the inaugural women's volleyball team at Lourdes College, which is just under a half-hour drive across town from where she grew up.

"That was my goal," said Blazevich regarding her collegiate plans. "I really wanted to continue playing volleyball and I was happy it all came together at Lourdes.

"I was looking at Heidelberg University, and if volleyball didn't work out I was going to go to the University of Toledo."

The former Stritch standout from Northwood became one of the original Gray Wolves not long after hearing about Lourdes' plans to begin participating in college athletics starting with the 2010-11 school year.

After researching Lourdes' plans to compete in volleyball and researching the four-year college, Blazevich found Lourdes to be a fit with what she was looking for after graduating from high school.

"I feel very happy with the decision I made to go to Lourdes with the athletics and the academics," Blazevich said.

"I feel at home there."

Lourdes coach Greg Reitz, who was responsible for building the Gray Wolves team from scratch, is also pleased with Blazevich's college selection.

"I've been in the area for quite some time and have known her from the club [volleyball] ranks," Reitz said.

"I got to see her play quite a bit [at Stritch] last year and it worked out she wanted to stay close to home."

Blazevich has made immediate contributions this fall.

She's been used at various positions on the floor this season, including as a setter.

However, she was recently asked to play outside hitter - a position she handled for three years as a starter at Stritch - and has performed well in her new role.

Blazevich helped the Gray Wolves finish second in a tournament recently hosted by Defiance College.

She earned all-tournament team honors for her efforts, along with Lourdes teammate Hannah Thompson, a junior setter from Kenai, Alaska.

"It was kind of nice to go back to something that I really knew how to do, and it was a good tournament," Blazevich said.

"That was kind of my goal to make that [all-tournament team]. It was definitely a great honor and it felt good."

Reitz said Blazevich has shown steady improvement as she help the Gray Wolves achieve their 9-8 record so far this season.

"She's doing really well," Reitz said.

"She's a well-rounded player. She's kind of settling into an outside hitter. She passes the ball well, plays defense well. I think she's adjusting well to college."

Attending college and living in the school's off-campus community only a short drive away from family and friends has made the move a rather smooth one for Blazevich.

"I've got a lot of support from my family and friends, so it's just nice to be able to get that kind of support," Blazevich said.

"The school support has been awesome.

"The past few home games we've had tailgate parties before, and the school is really getting into it.

"You can definitely feel the excitement on the campus."

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302



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