Varsity Q&A: Rachael Holehouse, Fallston, basketball

A three-sport standout, Holehouse was named the All-Metro Volleyball Player of the Year a few weeks ago on the same day she scored her 1,000th career point in basketball.

She helped the basketball team win state championships her first two years and was an All-Metro second-team guard last winter. She now has 1,050 career points.

In volleyball, she led the Cougars to a state title last year and to the state final last month. In tennis, she is an Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference champion and has been to the state tournament three straight times.

The middle child in an athletic family of five children, Holehouse will follow her sister Roberta into college volleyball and will play next year at Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. Also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and in her church, Mountain Christian, Holehouse has a 3.5 GPA. She plans to become a nurse or an athletic trainer.

What was the first sport you played?

Probably soccer, but I kind of feel like volleyball, basketball and soccer were all kind of there when I was little.

What is your favorite sport?

Volleyball. I feel most confident during volleyball, and it's a lot of fun. Basketball's a little too stressful sometimes (laughs).

Which are you best at?

Probably volleyball. I've been playing longer, and I feel like I know the sport better. During basketball, I feel like I'm making a lot of mistakes sometimes. Volleyball, I don't fell that way. I feel like basketball is fun when you have a lot of good players like sophomore and freshmen year were so much fun because all you had to do was the pass the ball. No pressure. It was just fun.

Has if been difficult for you as a competitive person to go from all the success you had as a freshman and sophomore on the basketball team to missing states last winter and going 3-3 to start this season?

I just always keep a positive attitude. That's what my coaches tell me all the time (laughs) — "Stay positive, keep encouraging your team." I don't take losing very well, but I've learned how to cope with that.

What's the team atmosphere like?

I love my team. That's one of the reasons I play. The girls are great. Everyone's always encouraging even when we're just down, like the Catonsville game when we were down by 20 points and, of course, I get taken out because I have four fouls which I shouldn't have had. People on the bench are patting me on the back saying, "You did great out there. It's not your fault." I'm just like, "Aw, thanks guys." Everyone just works as hard as they can. We're not the best basketball team ever, but we work our butts off.

Why did you choose Palm Beach Atlantic for college?

It's a Christian school, and I love the coach. Everything just seemed perfect.

Did Roberta influence you in your decision to play college volleyball?

Her experience going to a big school, Penn State, it was rough at first. Of course, her later years were amazing (two national championships). I don't see myself at a big school, so I guess that kind of influenced me.

Has playing three sports helped you in each of them?

Yeah. Just with keeping in shape mostly, but I think tennis definitely crosses over with volleyball with the extension and movements. Basketball keeps me strong.

What do you like about playing three sports?

They're all different. I enjoy volleyball so much, and there's not a lot of pressure. Basketball is more intense, and I like that too. Tennis is kind of my relax sport. It's still very competitive, but it's a lot of fun and more relaxing I would say than the other two.

What has been the highlight of your athletic career at Fallston?

I'd have to say winning basketball states. Probably my sophomore year, because we won states freshman year and still no one, the second year, thought we were going to win again and I was just like, 'Really?' That was when Jess (Harlee) was out for most of the season and then she came back. I was surprised how well we did without Jess.

What did it mean to score your 1,000th career point?

During the C. Milton game, I came in needing like 16 points and everyone came and my parents had flowers for the first time. They never get me flowers. That was disappointing. I got like seven points that game, so that was just funny. Then we traveled to St. Frances on Saturday and I was so happy that it happened there, because it was so relaxed and no one was making a big deal.

What are you planning for the holidays?

I'm going to go visit my grandma in Massachusetts — me, my mom and my sister Anna.

What's your favorite holiday food?

Pumpkin pie.

Did you make a New Year's resolution?

I took everyone else's probably — just to stay in shape. Basketball season is early still, so I need to get in better shape.

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