Getting to Know: Volleyball's Samantha Blaze

"Getting to Know" is a weekly feature on that will highlight student-athletes from the 17 intercollegiate athletic programs that make up "Ram Nation."

Each edition, VCU Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant Blaze Byrd chats with selected student-athletes from various programs to get inside their world and let us know a little more about them.

This edition of GTK features junior Samantha Blaze of the volleyball team. The Fort Myers, Florida native appeared in 32 of the Ram's 34 games last year. She has appeared in all nine of this season's contests and has contributed 8 service aces and 45 digs thus far.

With the season in full swing, Blaze and her teammates are gearing up for their season opener this Friday, September 19, at 7 pm against East Tennessee State University at the Siegel Center. She was nice enough to take a few minutes with Byrd to give us a little more of an in-depth look at herself.

How did you decide VCU was the right place for you?

 Surprisingly I did not visit the campus before I decided on VCU, but I knew it was a great school academically and I could pursue a career in volleyball.

What are your goals for this season (personally and for the team)

This sesason, I would like to step up as a leader on the court and really focus on bringing the team together since we ALL want to win the A-10 conference and receive a bid to the NCAA tournament.

What is your favorite athletic moment at VCU?

When we took the Univserity of Kentucky, who is a top ranked team in the nation, to a 5th set and only lost by a few points. Alhtough it was a loss, we all played together with lots of energy.

What is your favorite class that you've taken at VCU?

I really enjoyed Cell Biology because the professor was amazing and was able to apply so many concepts to everyday life.

Beyond sports, where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I can see myself pursuing a career in pediatrics.

What is one thing many people do not know about you?

I graduated with only 37 other students from High School. 

Is there a professional athlete, or former player, whose skills you emulate?

Brooke Youngquist- Sweat was one of my former club coaches and now plays beach volleyball professionally for USA. She is an extremely talented and agile player in the sand and sport of volleyball.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet and why?

If I could meet anyone, I would meet my grandfather, who passed away when my mom was a child. He was an extremely intelligent man, who was known to lighten up anyone's day.  

Quick hits- Favorites

Movie- Bridesmaids
TV Show- Chasing Life
Food- Rice
Place to eat in Richmond- The Black Sheep
Place to see in Richmond- Maymont
Musical artist- David Guetta
Pro Athlete- Reid Priddy
Pro Team- Miami Heat
Sport (other than the one you play at VCU)- Softball