Athlete of the Week: Kenzie Blackwell

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 6:10 PM MDT
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The Mavericks trailed 12-10 in the final two minutes on Wednesday but came back to tie the game and win just 1:21 into overtime, 13-12 over Rockhurst.

"It was definitely an adrenaline rush,” said junior attack Kenzie Blackwell. “Every time we would go on a run, they would go on a run. It wasn't our most consistent game that we put together but it's really awesome to see how we can go through that sort of fight and then still be able to pull it through and come out on top."

Blackwell says the team practices those situations a lot. It’s an area where she has stepped up in her junior year.

"Kenzie has been instrumental in terms of how we've been preparing in the last week or so,” CMU head coach Shanta Loecker said. “We've started treating her like a quarterback and giving her a game plan that she keeps during practice so she can be on the same page as far as what we are working through during those four quarters."

The season has ultimately been cut short but it still had so much growth for the young team that won its last two games at home.

"It’s been good. It was definitely a little rocky at first,” said Blackwell. “I think as a team we have started to, people have been really stepping up a lot. We've just been connecting and we've been learning about each other and becoming a family and a team."

The junior was the RMAC Player of the Week after she had a career-high nine points in the win over Northern Michigan. She added four more goals in the win over Rockhurst.

"She always has really insightful comments for her team in the huddles between quarters and halves,” said Loecker. “I also love that we can challenge her. She learns things really quickly and so we can challenge her in a way that she can translate to the rest of the team really well. Sometimes it almost feels like we've got half of a coach going on at practice when we do give her that game plan."

"We also have so many freshman and sophomores that i learn from them every day,” Blackwell said. “As much as they may be learning from me, I’m learning just as much from them on the daily. It's an awesome dynamic that we have."