She is from the Czech Republic, now lives in Enschede (NL) and was born into a real volleyball family. She played volleyball at a high level in the Czech Republic, America, the Netherlands and Germany and still manages to combine her athletics career with a full-time job at Heisterkamp Used Trucks. Meet Zuzana Buchlova.
I started playing volleyball when I was eight years old. My parents, my brother and my sister also played, so it was a logical choice for me. I liked volleyball, and that is one of the reasons why I went to the Sports Secondary School in Brno (Czech Republic) at the age of 16.At this school, I followed regular lessons, but I also had volleyball training every day. In 2005, our team even won the Czech Junior Championship!
I enjoyed volleyball more and more, and some years later I decided to go to America. I wanted to go to school there and continue my volleyball career. At the age of 21, I was ready: I flew to the USA for the first time. To Long Beach, California to be precise. Here I played during the 2007-2008 season for CSULB (California State University Long Beach). After that, I played for Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York City from 2009 to 2011.
During my stay in the USA, I studied Sports Management and Marketing. In addition to my classes, I trained three hours a day, and in pre-season (August) this was increased to 6-8 hours. Fortunately, my efforts paid off, because in 2009 we won the championship in North East Conference (NCAA Division). I graduated magna cum laude in 2011.
After completing my degree in Sports Management and Marketing, I played in Germany for one year. After that, I went to the Netherlands, where I played one year in the Eredivisie for Eurosped. That year, we were the runners up in the championships, which was a great performance. After this Dutch volleyball adventure, I started playing in Germany. I played in the 2nd Bundesliga for over five years. With my team, I have achieved some great performances here. In 2015, I even won the 2nd Bundesliga with VFL Oythe (Vechta)! In 2016, we came in 2nd with the same team (Runner Up).
In addition to my volleyball career, I have also worked full-time for the past four years. Fortunately, I was able to combine this well at Heisterkamp. On training days, I would drive to the training location after work, a trip of about 1-1.5 hours, and I would return home late at night. I sometimes had to go a little further away, for example for matches in Berlin or Stralsund. Although I managed to combine work and sports perfectly, last summer I decided to start playing at a lower level, so I would have more time for other things.
My motto? Never give up!