Junior middle blocker McKenna Ruch is well into her Junior season with the Mavericks. She sat down earlier to talk about her achievements and how she stays focused as a student-athlete. Ruch was awarded the Summit League Defensive Peak Performer of the Week for the second time this season.
This award is her fourth career award and second this season. Ruch’s most notable achievement this season was at the end of September when she was ranked fourth in the nation in blocks per set.
Off the court Ruch is studying exercise science and contributes to the team’s overall GPA of 3.5, she seems to be able to do it all.
“Junior year is definitely the hardest right now,” Ruch said. “After we got back from our Rodeo trip, we were given a full day to put towards school which was really helpful, and our academic staff helps a lot so that’s always nice!”
Ruch explained that she takes each day as it comes. Ever the humble athlete, the awards are never expected but always nice to receive. “I try not to put too much pressure on myself with [the awards],” Ruch says. “I don’t want to have to live up to such high standards for the next two years. I just want to strive to be better.”
Ruch plans to take her fifth year which was offered to all collegiate student-athletes by the NCAA after COVID-19 took at least one season away in all athletics.
Most recently, Ruch sat down with Hiland Dairy Jr. Mavericks Kids Club Reporter Ellie for a pre-game interview. Ellie asked Ruch what sound she would make if she was a dinosaur. The video can be found on the official Instagram page for Omaha Athletics.
Ruch believes that she holds a significant position for young girls and boys looking to become collegiate athletes.
“Even just Instagram posts, I know younger girls follow me –girls that play at the same club and high school that I played at– hearing that younger followers make a dream of playing is kind of motivating.”
Ruch shared that Athletic Director, Adrian Dowells seven-year-old daughter stopped by at practice one day and told the team that she wanted to be a Maverick just like the players.
Ruch and the Mavericks face South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota later in the month at home for a rematch of a rather rocky start to the regular season.