Dru Temple has been a force for the Thomas Worthington girls volleyball team for three seasons. But it’s the work she’s done in the classroom that helps make her a success on the court.
The senior setter, who had 1,931 career assists after a 27-29, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 18-16 win over Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 28, dreams of a career in engineering.
“The rigorous classes that I’m in, you have to start thinking for yourself and (work on) problem-solving to work around an issue that you have,” Temple said. “That definitely works into athletics because you have to be able to problem-solve on the court and off. It goes vice versa − sports help with school and school helps with sports.”
The engineering department at Ohio Northern is the reason she’s choosing to play for the Division III Polar Bears next season.
“School is a huge part for me,” said Temple, who has a weighted 4.2 GPA. “A main part of picking that school and being able to play volleyball there is because they have a great engineering department. Academics come first for me.
“Right now, I have civil engineering, but I might switch to mechanical engineering. I’m in between wanting to help design towns with the architecture aspect. My other idea is going into aerospace engineering with planes and flight traffic or space. It’s all up in the air.”
Temple got into engineering through Thomas’ STEM program.
“I have been taking engineering courses from my freshman year all the way up to my senior year now,” she said. “They do a great job of getting you into everything. My freshman year was mainly building and hands-on engineering and my junior year was more civil engineering and architecture, learning about the structure of houses and how you would build them.”
Temple, who is taking AP biology “for fun” this year, had 425 assists and 25 aces through 18 matches to lead the Cardinals, who were 5-14 overall and 1-7 in the OCC-Cardinal Division after losing to Marysville 25-21, 25-23, 20-25, 25-14 on Oct. 6. She also had 161 digs and 17 blocks.
“It was a tough fight, so winning (it) was just that much better,” Temple said. “Winning an easy game is not the same feeling as battling that hard. It just boosts the moral so much for the team and hopefully we can finish the season (strong).”
Second-year coach Ellen Hawkins sees Temple as a well-rounded player and leader.
“She’s pretty fast and agile,” said Hawkins, who played at Thomas before continuing her career at Baldwin Wallace. “She likes to get her hands on everything. She definitely tries to find the person that’s going to produce for the team. Her volleyball IQ is very high. She could definitely be a coach someday; she definitely has that personality. She’s just a huge leader on and off the court. She holds people to a very high standard and she holds herself to a high standard as well. I think she’s going to do really well at the next level.”
Another strength is having a hitter like Becca Wight, a Virginia commit who had a team-best 191 kills and 33 blocks through 18 matches.
Katie Fourman had 97 kills, Emma Lynch had 62 and Avery Argy had 51. Avery Hughes led Thomas with 180 digs and Argy had 34 blocks to lead the defense.
“We didn’t have very much confidence (before beating Kilbourne),” Hawkins said. “We lost to Grove City (25-22, 25-18, 25-23 on Aug. 25) and it was an eye-opener. I told the girls that winning games was going to take effort (because) everybody is really good this year. I feel like every team (we faced) progressed so much and we have to continue progressing as well.”