By Delayna Irvin
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
An all-around athlete is a common trait in most athletes growing up, but an all-around athlete with state championship experience in three sports is quite the rarity.
Kansas State's Courtney Traxson led her high school volleyball team to a fourth place finish at the state level as a junior, and third place as a senior in Kansas. She also received personal state titles based on her volleyball talents. That's not all, the Kansas-native helped her team to a state championship title in basketball as a senior, as well as qualified for state in high jump and javelin as a track and field star.
As stated above, it's pretty obvious that Traxson, a sophomore outside hitter for Kansas State's volleyball team, is an athlete whose talent reaches far beyond the volleyball court. Based on her family background, that doesn't come as much of a surprise.
"My aunt played volleyball here so that made it very easy to make my decision to play here at K-State," Traxson says of her aunt, Helen Bundy-Buchanan who played volleyball at Kansas State during the mid-1980s. "When she came for the Alumni visit, she actually left a note in my locker that said, ‘Swing high and hit hard' so she's constantly telling me things to make my game better."
Helen Bundy-Buchanan, then, Helen Bundy, was a middle blocker for Kansas State, who actually still holds several records as a Wildcat. She is ranked second overall with the most solo blocks in a career, putting up 104 blocks from 1983-1986. She is also tied for first with six 10-block matches in a career.
"I think it would be cool to one up my aunt in blocks, even though she played a different position," Traxson jokingly says of her personal volleyball goals.
Courtney Traxson's brother also attended K-State and threw the javlin for the Wildcat track and field team, following in their mother's footsteps, who lettered in track and field here at Kansas State between 1978-1980.
"I'm really close to my brothers now that I'm older. Getting up here, I lived with my eldest brother for a summer while I was here, so that brought me closer with him, and I'm also closer to my other brother as well...I'm no longer the annoying little sister," explains Traxson.
The outside hitter for the Wildcats is a very family-oriented athlete who shares how much sports and the K-State community mean to their family. Every home game, with Traxson's hometown being approximately three hours away, it is almost guaranteed that her family will be in attendance.
"They've actually made quite a few road games this year," says Traxson. "My dad has become super volleyball dad, even though he's not quite volleyball knowledgeable, but my family is overall very supportive of me."
Not only is being a K-State athlete something that runs in the family, but being apart of the school system has a hold on the Traxson family as well.
"My mother works in the high school library and my dad is the high school principal. My brother is also in the school system as a teacher of a small school in Inman, Kan., which is about two hours from here. Also, my aunt that played here is a PE teacher and volleyball coach," she states.
Her family has been a major influence on several decisions in her life so far, and her plans post K-State are no different. She goes on to say, "As for me, I'm considering a career as a speech language pathologist in an elementary school, but nothing is really set in stone just yet."
Family being the main factor in Courtney Traxson's life explains the outstanding chemistry she displays with her teammates on the volleyball court. As a freshman outside hitter for the Wildcats, Traxson played in 18 sets and made her debut against a ranked UCLA team. Now a sophomore, Traxson looks to improve her personal game, while also supporting her teammates and continuing to make her family proud.
"I hope competing for Kansas State stays in my family for a long time, but as for my kids continuing the tradition, that will be in the far, far future," Traxson said. "Right now, my teammates and I are just trying to have fun, and trying to be the best we can be."