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Published: 10/19/2006

Sidelines: Keeping up the family tradition

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Busch s path is to UM as she keeps Toledo Christian on winning road Maggie Busch of Toledo Christian spikes the ball against Notre Dame. Busch s path is to UM as she keeps Toledo Christian on winning road Maggie Busch of Toledo Christian spikes the ball against Notre Dame.
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Busch holds school career marks for digs (719), aces (189) and kills (815). She broke the kills mark of 785 which was set by her sister, Emily.
Busch holds school career marks for digs (719), aces (189) and kills (815). She broke the kills mark of 785 which was set by her sister, Emily.
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When it comes to sports, the performance standards are set pretty high for the children of Jeff and Betsy Busch.

Molly Busch was a swimmer in college at Illinois, while her brother Jacob swims at Ohio State. Zach Busch earned a black belt in karate. And Emily Busch plays volleyball at Eastern Michigan.

But Maggie Busch has produced a career that compares favorably with those of her elder siblings. She has committed to play volleyball at Michigan.

Last season Maggie, who plays volleyball at Toledo Christian, was the District 7 player of the year in Division IV. This season the senior is a top hitter for the Eagles, who have won a second straight Toledo Area Athletic Conference title by posting a 10-0 league record.

There s not really pressure [to equal anyone else in the family], Maggie Busch said. We re all really close and we get along well with one another. We try to support one another. It s fun more than pressure.

Busch has had a lot of fun on the court in leading Toledo Christian (17-4).

This season, she has 211 kills, an average of 10 per match, and posted an impressive kill percentage of 42.

She also ranks among the team leaders with 208 digs and 42 aces.

Busch holds school career marks for digs (719), aces (189) and kills (815). She broke the kills mark of 785 which was set by her sister, Emily.

[Maggie] means far more to our team than just the stats and the physical [attributes], said her coach, Dave Conley. She is who we look to for leadership. She s so positive, and her character is so strong.

She comes from a great family, and they work really hard at whatever they do.

A four-year starter at Toledo Christian, Busch was a middle blocker as a freshman despite being just 5-foot-7. She was used as a setter and outside hitter as a sophomore and junior before concentrating on hitting this year.

You think of Maggie first as a setter, and she has always been a really good setter, but to her credit she has worked really hard to develop all of her skills, Conley said. There s no weakness for her. She is the strongest in every skill on our team.

Busch said moving to different positions around the court aided her development.

[By moving around] you become more aware, and it gives you an ability to see different things, Busch said. I like hitting, because it s fun to get the big kill, but as you go to higher levels you run into girls across the net who are 6-5. I m looking forward to playing defense and libero [in college].

Her natural talent, combined with year-round focus on the sport she also plays Junior Olympic volleyball for the Premier Volleyball Club helped Busch earn a scholarship offer to play volleyball at Michigan.

She received the offer around Easter time, which she said helped her in preparing for the coming season.

It was kind of a relief [to be offered a scholarship early],because it allowed me to come out here and have as much fun as I possibly can, Busch said.

Busch said the current focus of the Toledo Christian squad is to advance beyond the district final, the point at which the Eagles suffered losses to Old Fort in each of the previous two seasons.

Conley said having a player of Busch s talent and dedication has bolstered the Toledo Christian program.

Not only do the varsity players see the work she has put into improving herself, but the younger kids do too, Conley said.

I try to get our fifth and sixth-graders in our program to come to games, and I tell them, This is the result of the hard work and the years and sweat that she has put into this sport.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com or 419-724-6481.



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