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The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

Central alumnus dominates Division I volleyball

2023+Titan+media+day
2023 Titan media day

Central alumnus Bianca Martinez is the starting middle blocker at Cal State-Fullerton, a Division I school. Last season, she made the All-Freshman team in her conference, and she is the current captain of the team. By senior year, she hopes to be an all-conference middle blocker and top three in the Big West. 

As a senior at Central in the 2021-2022 volleyball season, Martinez averaged 2.4 kills and 1.0 blocks per set. During her freshman season as a Titan, she totaled 168 kills and averaged 1.58 kills per set, 16th in the Big West Conference. She racked up 95 blocks and 0.90 blocks per set, which was 12th in the conference. Martinez was one of seven players chosen for the Big West All-Freshman Team, the only one from her school. 

Martinez started playing volleyball in the third grade for the YMCA but started playing more competitively in sixth grade when she began club volleyball at Omaha Starlings.  

Erin Golden, the Omaha Starlings assistant director, was one of Martinez’s first coaches during her eighth-grade season and through her 10th-grade season.  

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Golden knew when Martinez got to Starlings that she would be a talented player based on her height and length, and from the start, she gave opponents a tough time at the net.  

“Very early on, I told Bianca’s dad, Amado, that she was a volleyball player. He refused to believe it for years and kept telling me she was a basketball player. It wasn’t until about her sophomore year that he started to agree with me,” Golden said.  

After what was supposed to be her junior season, which COVID-19 canceled, Martinez started playing for a different club, Omaha Elite.  

In February of 2021, Fullerton officially offered Martinez a scholarship, and she committed in the following September. 

“As a freshman coming into high school sports, Bianca was a role model. Her mental toughness and skill level [were] extremely notable. Being one of two freshmen on the volleyball team with Bianca was inspiring. It truly shows that no matter where you go to school, any goals are achievable. Getting to play with her left a lasting impact on my volleyball journey and continues to remind me any goal is attainable,” Central junior Scout Vacek said. 

Martinez may be an inspiration for athletes now, but growing up, her father and sister who both played collegiate sports were her biggest role models.  

“Watching Elexis play at college and even throughout high school, like playing at Central, I knew I always wanted to do that, because going to her games was so much fun. Now doing it myself, it is just so surreal, and then also just like following in both of their footsteps,” Martinez said. 

Besides her family being a serious inspiration, her appreciation for her experience at Central prepared her for a college career on and off of the court.  

“Academically and athletically, Central has helped me a lot. Academically, it’s a tough school, so I was shaped to be a good student there. I know how to study, I know how to take notes in class and I know how to write a paper…” Martinez said. “Athletically, being in that routine of having to practice every day, having games throughout the week, summer conditioning [and] things like that all helped me and pushed me in a way and so that I can be who I am today.” 

Martinez hopes her journey comes full circle by coming back to teach and coach at the school that was such an important part of her development as a student, an athlete and as a person. 

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Isabel Hoiberg, Digital Editor
Hiiiiii! My name is Isabel Hoiberg (she/her), I am a senior, this is my second year on staff and I am a Digital Editor. My fellow staff members voted me most likely to still believe in Santa Claus, who else leaves presents under the tree? My parents? Funny. If I am not in 029, you can catch me watching South Park or doing the daily games from the New York Times.
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    Ronald and Rose bakerDec 8, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    Bianca makes us so proud to be her grandparents ! Love you Bianca 😉

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