Candice Burke achieves Panther dream - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Candice Burke achieves Panther dream

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Being a local girl, Candice Burke has grown up with an admiration of UNI volleyball. And she's happy to tell you about all her favorite players.

"I remember when Kim Davis was Kim McCaffrey, and when Molly O' Brien played; I don't think she even knows who I am, but I was in love with them... I remember when Jay Grassley had hair...Kim Kester, duh, I could not forget about her, she's amazing too... They just had so much energy and they showed passion with everything that they did, and it made you want to be them, or play for UNI."

And UNI volleyball coach Bobbi Petersen even remembers her first encounter with Candice.

"I still remember when she came here for a visit, and she was just kind of in awe that she was even here watching a practice."

This fanhood led Burke, a native of Waterloo, to set a goal for herself to one day play on the same court as some of her heroes.

"When I would go watch them play, I kept saying, 'I'm going to be them, I'm going to play for UNI", Burke says.

Coach Petersen adds, "You know, that's really neat, and that's why I love anytime we can get a local kid. Candice is a kid that the people around here have watched grow up too, so it's kind of neat that you can get behind somebody right here in the Cedar Valley."

Of course, when you play for a program like UNI, there's always an expectation of success to live up to.

"Every time that you go on the court, you know that you're playing for UNI, and it is a really successful program; a program that I've always wanted to be a part of, so I thin it gets me more excited than anything", Burke says.

But Candice has handled any pressure with the same amount of grace as the players that have preceded her.

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