By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Look at the Iowa sideline during an Iowa volleyball match and you will see nobody is having more fun than senior Emily Bushman.
From filling any dull moment with a “yeah Hawks” or helping her team communicate on the court — that’s Bushman’s style.
“Bushman is a comedian for sure,” junior Halle Johnston said. “She is probably the funniest person I’ve ever met, and she is my best friend.”
The Naperville, Illinois, native’s vocal prowess was recognized early in her career, being named a team captain following her sophomore year.
“I have been somebody who has been stable for my teammates throughout the years,” Bushman said. “One of my strengths as a teammate is being able to develop connections throughout the team, and as a captain you deal with more situations with the girls, coaches, and everything in between.”
And with the addition of eight freshmen to the team in 2019, Bushman has taken another step in her leadership role.
“She has had to step up even more as a leader,” Johnston said. “She is very vocal and sometimes talks for other people when she is teaching them how to communicate on the court. With Bushman playing more, she is helping the team flow as one unit and provides that spark that we need.”
Bushman’s dedication toward connecting with her teammates and coaches is felt on the court and culminated with her most memorable win of her career.
“Beating Iowa State at Iowa State last year was an unreal experience to win,” Bushman said. “It was the first time in my career we had beaten them.”
“She knows how to get people going,” Johnston said. “She inspires people with her attitude and her work ethic. She makes me want to be better volleyball player.”
It’s a philosophy built upon wanting to enjoy every minute of every day.
“I love my role,” Bushman said. “If you are not having any enjoyment with the people you’re around then your life will be miserable. If you cannot find enjoyment in the little things, then you are doing it wrong. I try and put a smile on other people’s faces because it’s my favorite thing to do.”
Bushman will leave Iowa with not only two degrees, marketing and finance, and a minor in sociology, she will also be leaving a team that will never forget her.
“I’ll miss her presence,” Johnston said. “She is a great person and is the glue to this team. She is somebody you always want to be around. Her leadership and friendship will be missed.”
Bushman and the Hawkeyes close the regular season this weekend against Ohio State and Maryland. Tickets for both matches are available on hawkeyesports.com/tickets or over the phone at 800-IA-HAWKS.