Riecks reaps benefits of weights at Pepperdine

Campus Canvass
By: Ray Hacke, Journal Sports Writer
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Cory Riecks is already an outstanding college volleyball player. The Placer High graduate has the accolades to prove that. Riecks recently completed his junior season at Pepperdine University as a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selection. “It’s really very much an amazing thing for me,” Riecks said of becoming an All-American. “The (All-America) team had a lot of guys who are skilled and talented. To be recognized as someone in that group is an honor.” Still, Pepperdine coach Marv Dunphy believes the outside hitter believes he can take his game to an even higher level. “I don’t know if he knows how good he can be,” Dunphy said. “I hope he finds out sooner as opposed to later.” “He could play at the Olympic level,” the coach added. “He could have a career internationally. He just has to get stronger.” Riecks has already made strides in that department. His work in the weight room following last season helped him become a more powerful hitter. His hitting percentage of .381 and his kills-per-game average of 3.89 were both team highs. “We have a new weight coach who’s been a big help to me,” Riecks said. “I’m one of those tall, scrawny, gangly-looking fellows. Our weight coach is pushing us to where we can be physically.” “The little bit he did last year helped a ton,” Dunphy said. “If he dedicates himself, he can really improve all parts of his game.” Riecks agrees with Dunphy’s assessment and he knows he’s only got one year left. “It’s getting down to the end here,” Riecks said. “That’s inspiration to push myself a little bit harder.” That’s not the only inspiration Riecks has. Although he’s looking at becoming a teacher and studying linguistics — East Asian languages in particular — after college, he’d love to enhance his prospects of playing volleyball at the international level. “I haven’t started looking into that yet, but its something I’m very interested in,” Riecks said. “I’d love to get there.” Riecks has one other goal to motivate him. He helped lead Pepperdine to the NCAA Division I championship game as a freshman and the Waves, who went 16-10 overall and 14-8 in MPSF play this season, haven’t been back since. “I’ve still got that silver trophy sitting there gawking at me every single day,” Riecks said. “It’s definitely inspiration to see how far we can go. I want to make this, my last season, be as much as it can be.”