Sauk Valley Media Athlete of the Week: Newman’s Kennedy Rowzee

Newman’s Kennedy Rowzee hammers a shot against Oregon’s Skylar Bishop Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023 in a game at Newman High School.

The Newman volleyball team has compiled a 13-2 overall record and 5-0 record in the Three Rivers East this season, picking up right where it left off after a fourth-place finish at Class 1A state in 2022. Senior middle blocker Kennedy Rowzee, a unanimous All-Three Rivers East selection last season, has played a big part in that success. In a 3-0 week from Sept. 4 through Sept. 10, she recorded 15 kills, 9.5 blocks and three digs against Mercer County, nine kills and two blocks against Oregon and 11 kills against Hall.

Rowzee has been voted the Sauk Valley Media Athlete of the Week by readers and answered a few questions to help us get to know her a little bit.

What’s been the biggest key to your team’s success this season?

Rowzee: I would definitely say our communication strategies and teamwork along the way. This team is made up of so many talented players, so when we all are playing and working together, we do some big things. And if we continue to get a little better every day, we will continue to keep pushing for our end-of-the-season goals.

What’s your favorite memory of Newman volleyball?

Rowzee: Walking out on the platform at Illinois State for the first trip down to state in Newman history.

What’s your favorite rivalry match, and why?

Rowzee: My favorite rivalry match is Rock Falls because I grew up with all of those girls. And even though we are on opposite sides, we still are making jokes and are having fun with each other across the net.

What’s your favorite thing about volleyball?

Rowzee: My favorite thing about volleyball is getting an overpass kill.

What’s your favorite TV show?

Rowzee: My favorite TV show is “Friends.”

What superpower would you like to have, and why?

Rowzee: If I had a superpower, I would pick teleportation, so the bus rides wouldn’t take so long.

What songs do you listen to to fire you up before a match?

Rowzee: Since freshman year, after we pray on the bus before every away game, we always listen to “No hands” by Waka Flocka to get us all fired up.

What songs are your go-to to relax?

Rowzee: My go-to relaxing song is “Dancing Queen.” Always helps me get my nerves out.

What is your favorite class, and why?

Rowzee: I would definitely say English, even though I am not the best at writing. Mr. Magnifici makes his classes so fun and enjoyable. He has really helped me get a better understanding of how to enjoy writing about things I love.

What is your favorite college or professional sports team? Who is your favorite college or professional athlete?

Rowzee: I would say Nebraska, ever since I was little, is the team I would always watch. And since Lexi Rodriguez has been playing for them, it gives me an extra reason to watch them. They are just a fun team to watch dominate.

My favorite college/professional athlete is Dana Rettke, former player for the Wisconsin Badgers. She will always be such a fun player to watch, especially from a middle standpoint. I had the chance to meet and have a practice with her at Fusion (my travel team), and she was such an amazing person and a great role model.

You get to have dinner and talk volleyball with three players, past or present. They can be professional players, Olympians or former area standouts. Who are you picking, and why?

Rowzee: Lauren Stivrins from Nebraska. I loved watching her passion for the game. Watching her really helped me understand volleyball from a middle standpoint, especially now that I am playing after high school.

Logan Eggleston, she was always fun to watch and has so much knowledge for the game.

And lastly, the guy who always has his lights on at the Newman football games.

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Dan Wussow

Dan Wussow

Dan is the sports editor for Sauk Valley Media. Previously, he wrote for The Post-Crescent in his hometown of Appleton, WI.