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Nevada Preps Boys Athlete of the Week: Arbor View’s Mark Blanchard

Arbor View’s boys volleyball team hadn’t defeated Shadow Ridge since outside hitter Mark Blanchard’s freshman year before Thursday.

The senior played a key role in helping the Aggies snap their winless drought against the two-time defending 5A state champion.

Blanchard had 13 kills, 12 digs and three aces in Arbor View’s 25-20, 25-23, 25-18 win over Shadow Ridge on Thursday. He was named Nevada Preps Boys Athlete of the Week for his efforts.

“Our team is getting a lot better and I’ve really felt like we’ve bonded pretty well so far,” Blanchard said.

Let’s get to know this week’s boys athlete of the week. (Note: Answers have been edited for clarity and length.)

Nevada Preps: When did you start playing volleyball?

Blanchard: It was the end of my eighth-grade year going into my freshman year. I started playing in recreational leagues. The following year I tried out for school and did club teams, and that’s how it got going.

NP: If you weren’t playing volleyball, what sport would you be playing?

Blanchard: I think I’d still be focused on basketball. That was really the only sport I focused on before volleyball. I thought I’d play (basketball) forever, but it was just until last year I decided to quit basketball. I was doing volleyball and basketball, but I just decided to focus on volleyball.

NP: Is there a volleyball player you look up to?

Blanchard: Outside hitter Ethan Champlin, who plays at UCLA. He’s definitely an athlete I tried to model myself after for sure. He’s not only a really good hitter but defensively, he can be moved to libero and he passes very well in service. That’s something I’m always trying to improve on.

NP: Do you have any pregame rituals or game-day superstitions that you follow?

Blanchard: When I’m stretching, I listen to music. Then me and my other outside hitter, Reece Brenner, we hype each other up and then we take this energy drink.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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