Between the Riverdale gymnasium and the weight room in the Riverdale Town Center, Burnham has been working on her serve, strengthening her body and improving her conditioning.
“The day after I walked across the stage, I started running and getting stronger,” said Burnham, who will also play outside hitter in college.
During her five-day workout week, Burnham spends time on the treadmill, stationary bike and stair climber to build stamina. She also builds her lower body by using the leg press, calf and squat machines.
“I do a lot of leg work because my position is built off of vertical,” Burnham said.
Interestingly, her preparation is more than what she was expected to do.
“My coach gave me a workout plan but I do more than what is on the actual workout plan,” Burnham said. “Because I’m used to working out with a basketball workout plan, I use what I learned from basketball and put it with my workout plan to make it a lot harder so I can build my stamina up.”
Due to her work ethic, Burnham could also be able to reach 10 feet in her approach jump by next month. Her assistant coach and former A5-South head coach, Edwin Ortiz, expects her to achieve the mark by then. Burnham said she was close to that height when she last tried around December.
After helping the Lady Raiders to a 22-9 mark last season, Burnham, who is Riverdale’s all-time leader in kills, digs and aces, began her second season with A-5 South, which ended last month, and felt she made a difference on her way out.
“I think I had a big season,” Burnham said. “On a scale from 1 to 10, I would say 8.5 because I felt like this year I got a whole lot better versus when I first started. I was able to do way more things.”
On Aug. 6, the Lady Lions will begin their preseason schedule and Burnham’s volleyball journey on the next level will be officially underway.
“The best thing about playing at Emmanuel will be that I will grow as a player,” said Burnham, who plans to major in sports management and kinesiology. “I’m going to be on a better team so it will eventually make me better and the program better.”