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Athlete of the Week: Kursten Anderson

Culpeper County High School senior Kursten Anderson is a setter for the Devilette volleyball team.
(Editor's note: Throughout the local high school sports season, Culpeper Times will again recognize an “Athlete of the Week” from one of the sports on a rotating basis. This week we feature volleyball. At the end of the year the Times will select a male and female athlete at both Culpeper County and Eastern View high schools and recognize them as “Athlete of the Year” at their respective schools.)

“Each hitter has a place where they are comfortable – it's like their favorite pair of pajamas – and my job is to put the ball in that comfort zone so they can hit it where they want to,” said Kursten Anderson, senior setter for the Culpeper County High School volleyball team. “I'm a very positive person, but I'm also my own biggest critic. I want each set to be perfect.”

Anderson is no stranger to responsibility. In addition to her position as a setter for CCHS, she is also a team co-captain as well as senior class president. Now she can add one more title to her resume: Culpeper Times “Athlete of the Week.”

“This is my sixth year playing volleyball and I love the team aspect and the intensity that the game brings,” Anderson said. “Since I've played the game so long, I know what I need to do and I try not to put pressure on myself, because the more relaxed I am the better I play.”

First-year coach Jennifer Mullen calls Anderson the “player that keeps it all together” for the team.

“She's one of our strongest players and has the most experience,” Mullen said. “She gives it everything she has, diving for balls, getting the team up and ready to play.”

Anderson said academically she enjoys science, art and math.

“I'm thinking about going to Christopher Newport University and majoring in marine biology with a minor in zoology,” she said.

Anderson is also a mainstay of the Devilette tennis team each spring and hasn't yet decided which sport will get her attention in college.
“It's still a tossup between volleyball and tennis,” she said.

When she is not involved with school activities, Anderson said she helps out at Young Life and does volunteer work, “mostly with animals.” She also enjoys spending time with her family.

The Devilettes are 7-9 for the year (5-7 in the Battlefield District) and travel to Eastern View High School tonight (Thursday) in the final regular season game.

NOTE: Eastern View High School first-year coach Molly McGrath nominated junior outside hitter Juliana Schlunz.

“She's probably the most experienced of our players – she plays club ball in the off season – and her skill level and mental game are among the best. She sets a good example.”

Schlunz pairs with the other outside hitter, senior Randi Mauck, to form a formidable duo.

“She and Randi are totally different and they complement each other so well,” McGrath said. “Juliana is so consistent she is almost like a robot. She can do the same thing over and over and do it right each time.

“She knows both sides of the court really well and she can place the ball wherever it needs to go. The big thing, though, is her mental toughness. She doesn't look like a typical setter and a lot of teams take her for granted until they see her play.”

Schlunz said she likes the energy of the game.

“I've been playing since eighth grade and I just enjoy playing and having fun,” she said. “My position is intense and I focus on getting kills, points for the team.”

Schlunz enjoys science and math and said she is considering a career in education, specifically as a first-grade teacher.

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