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What is takes to be a Blazer athlete

As the spring season unfolds, the spotlight shifts to the remarkable athletes of VSU, each embodying dedication, perseverance, and excellence on the field and in the classroom. From the fast-paced courts to the fields, the stars of VSU’s spring sports teams light up the campus with their talent and passion.

Together, they represent the epitome of athletic achievement at VSU, setting their sights on personal successes, record-breaking performances, and the proud representation of their university on the competitive stage.

“My time here at VSU has meant a lot to me in the classroom and athletics. In the last four years, I have grown such much as a person and created lifelong bonds with my teammates and coaches that mean more to me than winning any game,” said senior interdisciplinary studies major Taylor Searcey.

“The dedication and success surrounding our team and my experience here has inspired me to be more open-minded, and always be present in the moment and it gave me more confidence in my abilities and aspirations after college.”

In 2022 and 2023, Searcey had a standout season, earning second-team all-conference honors for her impressive performance on the basketball court. As a key player for her team, she led in scoring with an average of 12.4 points per game and topped the charts with 7.0 rebounds per game. Taylor Searcey has left an unforgettable mark on the program throughout her years here.

Morgan Hill, a Graduate Student who has acquired her bachelor’s in health science, said, “Being a student-athlete at VSU has forced me to be able to juggle many responsibilities, manage my time wisely, and learn from both good times and bad times. I believe that these assets will be beneficial in my future as I pursue a doctorate in physical therapy and through my future career as a physical therapist.”

Hill has recorded several accolades throughout her four years here at VSU. This past year she earned the prestigious award of the VSU Female Athlete of the Year.

“I would say the bond with the school and brotherhood with the team that is built is one of the biggest assets I will take away. I think knowing that you have other people going through the same struggle or process as you every day is comforting,” said sophomore psychology major Raynel Ortiz. “I would also say how much our assistant coaches try to make being at the field like home and not just always about our sport in a way is helpful.”

This past year Ortiz recorded two putouts with no errors for a fielding percentage of 1.000 in the field. Moreover, Ortiz has been a prominent hitter for the VSU baseball team and has put up plenty of numbers on the board.

These athletes’ achievements, both on and off the field, emphasize the spirit of VSU athletics, where talent, hard work, and a sense of community converge to create champions. The legacy of these remarkable individuals will continue to inspire future Blazers, fueling the passion and pride that define VSU sports.

Written by Ansley DeCenzo, staff reporter. Photos courtesy of VSU.

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