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Athlete of the Week: Taylor Rutgers

Athlete of the Week: Taylor Rutgers.

MATTAWAN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Mattawan volleyball team, the Wildcats, are off to a blazing 25-4 start and ranked 10th in the latest class 'A' rankings, thanks to the outside hitting of Sophomore star Taylor Rutgers.

Newschannel 3’s Mike McCann reports on the Mattawan sophomore standout for the Athlete of the Week.

Taylor Rutgers is a big reason for the Wildcats success and what's most surprising about that statement is the fact that Rutgers wasn't even playing volleyball five years ago.

When you consider Rutgers was called up to Mattawan Varsity Volleyball as a Freshman, full time varsity as a Sophomore, place on the team in kills; It's easy to expect "Volleyball Lifer" to describe her, but that is not the case.

This is only the fourth year she's played volleyball.

Rutgers said, “In seventh grade my friend pushed me into doing it and from then on I kept pursuing it and doing travel in school”

She started, and hasn't stopped since and Rutgers credits her dad as a major influence on her volleyball career.

She said, "I love it because then I can have someone at home help me as well as someone in the gym and school.”

Mattawan Coach Michelle DeGroote isn't concerned with Rutgers level of experience, but more concerned with her talent, and in that regard, DeGroote said the sky is the limit

She said, “I think she has a lot of the intangibles, but she's very athletic. She has a hard work ethic and that will drive her drive her to succeed.”

And even as just a sophomore who's been playing for four years, DeGroote said Rutgers is helping Mattawan win games

She's one of those kids who's going to do everything it takes in the off-season to better herself and intern she better is the team for that

For Rutgers, she's just focused on spiking her way to as much success as she can.

I would like to go to college a D-1 college and maybe play after college, too.

Rutgers is second on the team in kills. The very talented Natalie Foster actually leads the Wildcats with 258 kills.

Mattawan is making a trip to the east side of the state where the Wildcats will be playing in the "Beast of the East" tournament featuring 35 of the top teams in Michigan.

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