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WEST LAFAYETTE — Heritage Christian graduate Raven Colvin has made great strides during her freshman season.

The Boilermakers volleyball team is one of the top in the nation, partially due to Colvin’s incredible defensive play. The freshman made her first start on the road against Illinois on October 6.

“It was very exciting,” said Colvin. “I was really nervous considering it was at Illinois, which was a big game, and we lost to them already.”

Senior middle blocker Jael Johnson was out, giving Colvin her opportunity to start and step up in a major way for the Boilermakers.

“I think it was a good chance to show everyone and show [head coach] Dave [Shondell], I was out there for a reason,” said Colvin. “I can fill Jael’s spot and do it my way and still come out with a win.”

Whether she starts or not, Colvin has been holding her own on a primarily veteran squad. She has 87 kills and 31 total blocks so far this season.

Playing for Purdue may have seemed inevitable because of her father Rosevelt, who played for the Boilers before winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots. Instead, the close proximity to home, her family’s ability to see her play on a regular basis and Purdue’s strong academic reputation were the deciding factors.

“I think it’s really cool that we’re a great volleyball school. I was really keen on being true to myself and not chasing dreams or going places just because they have big names and big titles,” said Colvin. “My family being able to come here and watch me play for every home game  is really important to me. I think it’s really cool that Purdue is a great volleyball school.”