(Southeast Missourian file)
Former Leopold volleyball player Casey Bucher has accepted a scholarship to play at Murray State of the Ohio Valley Conference this fall.
Bucher chose Murray State primarily for academic reasons as the school offers her major -- engineering graphics and design.
"They had my major that I want to get into," she said "Also, one of my friends went there and she liked it, so I figured I would go there too."
Bucher, who was her class valedictorian with a 4.0 grade-point average, also received an academic scholarship to attend Southeast Missouri State. She also received offers from Central Methodist and several junior colleges in Illinois.
A four-time all-conference and all-district player, Bucher helped the Wildcats compile a 105-16-3 record in her four seasons. During that span, the Wildcats won four conference titles and four district titles. Leopold also advanced to the Class 1 final four in 2007 and finished third.
Bucher capped her high school career by being named all-region and all-state after compiling 198 kills, 131 digs and 53 blocks her senior season.
Although Bucher played hitter in high school, Murray State plans to switch her to setter this fall.
"They told me before I signed that they wanted me to be a setter," she said.
Bucher says it will take some time to learn new techniques.
"It's going to be a lot different," she said. "I've had some setting experience in the past, but it's very different."
Bucher has been working out as she prepares for Division I volleyball.
"I have been talking to a lot of the girls on the team, and they have been given me some advice," Bucher said. "Also, I'm doing workouts that the coach has given us."
Bucher won't be the only representative from Southeast Missouri on the team. Wendi Zickfield, who recently completed her senior year at Central, also will be a teammate.
The two players are familiar with one another.
"I've talked to her recently," she said. "I'm coaching my sister's volleyball team, and she was one of the referees."
Bucher said she doesn't expect to make an instant impact at Murray State, but she's willing to help the team in any way possible.
"I'm just trying to learn my new position and help out the team," she said.
Murray State went 13-5 in the OVC (16-12 overall) in 2008 to finish tied for third.