Sport Spotlight: Century’s Claire Bauman

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) — Century Volleyball has been the team to beat for the past decade. They seem to replenish their roster with a new wave of collegiate-able athletes every year. Claire Bauman came onto the scene as a sophomore and was one of those athletes. Bauman goes to Sports Spotlight this week.

Claire Bauman is one of the best hitters in the state, but after years of playing volleyball, she didn’t pick up the skill until she joined Century.

Claire Bauman: “I was starting my freshman year of high school. I was pretty young in middle school. I was libero for the club season, setter for the club season. Then they needed a middle hitter, I grew a few inches and I fit right where I was supposed to.”

Her first university experience was in her second year.

Jamie Zastoupil: “She only came on stage as a sophomore. She came into the postseason for us and nobody had any idea who she was or what she was capable of. She just has this amazing vertical. We say it can fly, it can hang in the air and it’s really hard to defend.”

As a senior, Claire has college volleyball on the agenda, but as she retires from Century, she doesn’t take her time as a patriot for granted.

Bauman: “I know I will never play on a team like this at Century and it breaks my heart because I don’t want to leave my friends and family that I have gained through the Century program. So hopefully somewhere that I can just really fit in, somewhere that I can be separate.

Her Century family was important, but her real family was a big influence on her career.

Bauman: “We play together all the time. We just love to hang around. We have a volleyball net in our backyard and we like doing that together, so it’s just a good way to bring us all together.”

Bauman and her team are gearing up for the western region tournament after going 20 WDA games unbeaten. She says the success of the program is directly impacted by the positive culture.

Bauman: “The culture here at Century is second to none. I feel like my sophomore year when I got called up to the varsity game at the state tournament, it wasn’t a competition, it was “you’re with us, you can make mistakes” and they don’t get mad about it. Volleyball is a game of victory and defeat. You gain points, you lose points, but it’s how you recover and how your teammates get you out of the groove you’re in.”

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