WPIAL Alum Q&A – Mackenzie Biggs

Monday, November 2, 2015 | 4:09 PM

The Hopewell girls’ volleyball team was a powerhouse squad in recent years, as the Vikings captured the Class AA WPIAL Championship in 2011, and finished as runners-up the following season. One of the key components of that program’s success was Mackenzie Biggs, who is this week’s spotlighted athlete.

Although also a talented basketball player at Hopewell, Biggs elected to continue her volleyball career at the next level, choosing to attend Clarion University. While seeing limited action as a freshman, Biggs carved out a larger room in 2014 as a sophomore with the Golden Eagles.

This year, the 6-foot-2 hitter as become a mainstay, as she’s accumulated 207 kills, including four straight matches in which she tallied double-figures. Defensively, she ranks second on the team in blocks, with 72.

The team boasts a record of 16-13 to this point, including an impressive 12-5 mark in conference play.

Mackenzie agreed to chat about some of her best assets on the court, her experiences in both high school and college, and some of her favorite personal activities too.

Q: It seems like 2015 has been a breakout season for you. What has changed that has allowed you to have such great success as a junior?

A: I feel like every season has changes as senior team members graduate and new players fill their positions. Last season, I was able to step in as a sophomore rightside and have a very good season. This year, I think the experience I gained last season has helped me build on that success and become a more versatile and complete player. 

Q: At 6-foot-2, you are one of the tallest players on your team. What are the advantages, as well as disadvantages, of your height?

A: I think being tall is always an advantage in volleyball. My height allows me to be a stronger blocker defensively, and offensively to hit over opposing blocks.

Q: What has been your best moment with the Golden Eagles thus far? 

A: I think the best moment was last season in our late-season game with California University. They are a big rival of ours and always a tough match. This match we had lost two straight sets and were struggling on the court. We regrouped and came out in set three and fought hard to get back in the game. We won the next three sets and the match but it was a back and forth contest and probably the most exciting and competitive game in all my years of volleyball.

Q: Did you set any personal or team goals heading into the season?

A: I came into this season just wanting to build on my sophomore season and continue to improve my game. Our team goals are always to be consistent and bring energy and aggressive play to the court every game. 

Q: How do you prepare during the offseason, and what are some of the particular exercises and training methods you use?

A: This offseason, I worked with a private coach on my hitting swing and footwork. Also, I love the gym and you can find me there during the summer with my Clarion volleyball summer workout program. 

Q: What lead to your decision to attend Clarion? 

A: I think Clarion’s team just won my heart on my overnight. The girls have become great friends and are wonderful teammates. The coaching staff is also very supportive and has pushed me to become a better volleyball player on the court and student off the court.

Q: Do you have a trademark reaction after you make a big kill?

A: I always raise my right arm and cheer. It is complete reflex and my standard reaction to most kills. Our team also has different handshakes for every player to begin the game.

Q: How did your play with a very competitive Hopewell team help prepare you for college volleyball? 

A: In Hopewell, all the girls played club volleyball. It was very competitive to even earn a starting position, much like college volleyball.

Q: When did you realize your future was in volleyball, and did you consider playing basketball in college, as well?

A: I started thinking about playing volleyball in college in high school. Even though I enjoyed basketball, my preference was always volleyball.

Q: Do you still keep in touch with high school teammates or coaches?

A: I get to see a lot of my high school teammates during season. The PSAC teams hold a lot of former Hopewell players who are having success in college. It is always great to see old teammates and catch up after the game. I also see Coach Borkovic in the Hopewell gym every summer. He won’t admit it, but I am pretty sure he still checks my stats!

Q: What is the best way to spend a free weekend? 

A: I honestly can’t remember my last free weekend. I think the best way to spend one would be relaxing and catching up with friends and family.

Q: Do you have a favorite movie or TV show?

A: My favorite TV show is How to Get Away with Murder. It has so many twists and turns that I never know what is going to happen next.

Q: Who would be your dream date? 

A: A personal idol of mine is Matt Anderson, outside hitter for the USA volleyball team. I don’t know if I would like a date, but it would be great to have dinner and talk about volleyball.

Q: How do you manage your time between volleyball, classes and personal life? 

A: Managing time has been something of a struggle in college. Sophomore year, I discovered that if I developed a detailed schedule with my coaches before classes began that I was able to manage my busy schedule much better.

Q: Where is the best vacation spot you’ve ever been? 

A: I would have to say Florida this summer. There is nothing like relaxing on a beautiful beach.

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