Buckner to play for OCU next season

Circleville’s Allie Buckner made a big decision last week when she put pen to paper and committed to continue her volleyball career at the next level when she signed to play next year for Ohio Christian University.

Sporting Pumpkin reached out to the senior and she shared her story about how OCU was chosen over other schools and told us a little more about herself. 

Congratulations to Allie on this big opportunity and now we’ll let her tell you about the journey.

My hunt for finding a college that fit me started in early summer of my junior year. I didn’t want to wait until senior year to start the search and wanted to make my high school senior year as stress-free as possible. My family and I looked at a total of eight colleges, all within Ohio and all with something different and exciting to offer. Finding a great academic fit with the addition of playing volleyball was my pursuit. 

We submitted my SportsRecruit profile and did personal emails to each college coach. Some were quick to respond, and this was very helpful in moving on or continuing future contacts. A few came back and they already had a short roster or had filled the need already for that position (DS/Defensive Player/Libero). That feedback was something I was grateful for because it helped me navigate where to go next or vice versa. Halfway through my search, I was contacted by the coaching staff at OCU and was invited to practice with the team. After that practice I automatically felt like I had found the right fit. They welcomed me and helped me in learning the ways of the team. 

With family and coaches looking on, Allie Buckner signs her commitment to play college volleyball at Ohio Christian University. (photo courtesy of Circleville High School)

Without realizing it some of the staff had already been a part of my volleyball journey while playing against other teams such as Teays Valley. 

The coaches at OCU kept in contact with me and anytime I had a question, there was a quick and thoughtful response. I made my final decision after my tour of the college. 

I feel that most people go off to college to find themselves, for me it’s a little bit different. I very much know who I am. I was just looking for a place that could help me further my goals in education and athletics, while still being me. I have my parents to thank for that. They gave me many opportunities through traveling the country and allowing me to experience life in order to see what the rest of the world has to offer. Everything about OCU fit, from its morals, values, volleyball team and work ethic, and the variety in academics that will help further my skills to work in the community and give back to those in need. 

My plan for college is to double major in human services and psychology. It is also a goal of mine to obtain my degree in coaching leadership.

I would like to thank all the coaches and teams I played for in my past and my present, even the challenging ones. Each and every person and experience, easy or difficult, has helped push me forward to where I am today. 

I would like to give a special thanks to Tom Vagnier at Vagnier’s Performance Training for helping me grow and keep my strength abilities in the off season. Thank you to the Circleville girls volleyball team, for allowing me to be a part of the program with open arms, and pushing me harder than ever before. Thank you Crystal Thornsley, Hayden Ellis and Jill Anderson for being my senior year coaches! 

Question: What has led to your success in volleyball? What are your strengths as an athlete and what are a few areas you’ve had to work at the hardest to improve?
Overall, my coaches, parents and my mindset have led me to success. My strengths as an athlete is being loud and constantly talking on the court while I am continuing to work on my speed.

Question: What are some memories from playing at Circleville that you will treasure for years to come?
I will never forget how fast the girls and I connected. It was odd for all of us at first because I had never played with the girls before my senior year, I had always been on the opposing team when I played for Amanda. So being a Tiger really changed my perspective and I get to enjoy my last season of high school volleyball with great players and great coaches. 

Question: Is there a volleyball player that you look up to and try to emulate?
A volleyball player that I look up to is Allie Thompson. She has always been herself and very open to meeting me when I first practiced with the team. I see her on campus now and we stop and talk when we both have time. She is also a great player and with her being an upperclassman, she is a great role model for underclassmen in the sport of volleyball.

Question: Favorite meal? 
Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast is my favorite meal.

Question: Favorite place to eat out at? 
Either Gibby’s or Roosters in Circleville.

Question: Favorite store to shop at? 
Free Spirit Threads Boutique in Chillicothe is my favorite store to shop at.

Question: Favorite musical group or genre? 
I listen to all kinds of genres and music, but lately my favorite has been R&B, soul and country music.

Question: Favorite movie? 
A Walk to Remember is my favorite movie.

Question: Hobbies? 
My family races cars so a lot of weekends we are busy doing that if I’m not busy with sports. I also like lifting and doing activities through the community whether it’s through organizations/volunteering or through FFA which I have been a member of for four years. I love shopping if that’s considered a hobby and I love traveling the country. My favorite place that I have visited is Sedona, Arizona, due to its peaceful and soul base.

Question: Favorite holiday?
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because it is a time where my family comes together, for the food for some, but I see it as coming together for thanks and that we are all able to be with our families. 

Question: What is your most valuable possession? 
My most valuable possession is a necklace that my aunt had custom made for me. It has a volleyball on it with a cross engraved and a bible verse on the back.

Question: Favorite memory from the Circleville Pumpkin Show?
My favorite memory from the Circleville Pumpkin Show was when I got to run as a school representative, and I was given the opportunity to be on stage. 

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