Rocky Volleyball is #1 in the Nation

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By: Kasha Caprata –

The Rocky volleyball team caught in a moment of happiness as they hold a team huddle after one of their home wins. photo by Brandon Keim

The Rocky volleyball team caught in a moment of happiness as they hold a team huddle after one of their home wins.
photo by Brandon Keim

Rocky’s volleyball team is off to a winning start this season, with a win-loss record of 17-2, including preseason. This is an all-time high for Rocky’s volleyball team stats. Senior volleyball player Brooke Myers said that “being ranked number one is not something that we were expecting,” and as a team, all of the volleyball players agree that the road ahead of them is a long one. With all of the wins underneath their belts, our girls on the Rocky Volleyball team, like any winning sports team, are out to win it all.
With such success driving the team to victory, one may think that keeping a level head would be a challenge, but not for our Rocky girls. “Honestly, the success hasn’t really affected me that much” said senior volleyball player Sky Gabel. “I don’t really think about how many games we’ve won, and how well we are doing is just surreal. The whole experience is so much bigger than myself; I am just glad to be a part of it,” stated Gabel.

Similarly, Myers stated that “we, as a team, are very realistic in knowing that we have a lot to work on, and that we have to keep growing. Also, our coaches help us stay grounded by helping us out sometimes; we joke around a lot, and if we have a good play in practice, she’ll ask us if we think that we’re good, then she’ll say “because you are not!” and we laugh and get back to work.”

Senior Yang Yang spikes the volleyball onto the opposing side of the court while two of her teammates, Tori Bertsch (l) and BrieAnna Geck (r), prepare to back her up. photo by Brandon Keim

Senior Yang Yang spikes the volleyball onto the opposing side of the court while two of her teammates, Tori Bertsch (l) and BrieAnna Geck (r), prepare to back her up.
photo by Brandon Keim

The Rocky volleyball team caught in a moment of happiness as they hold a team huddle after one of their home wins. photo by Brandon Keim

The Rocky volleyball team caught in a moment of happiness as they hold a team huddle after one of their home wins.
photo by Brandon Keim

With the team’s massive amount of wins, one might worry that all of the success will affect the team dynamic. Remarkably, this has not been an issue at all, with the main concern of the team being to continue to work hard and do well. Volleyball head coach Laurie Kelly, who has been coaching volleyball for 29 years with 8 seasons under her belt at Rocky, said that “these players are conditioned to play hard at all times. If success comes their way because of it, then that’s what they are trained for. These players are disciplined and give 100% all of the time. I would not expect anything less from them.”

Asked about success changing the team dynamic, Gabel stated that “we, as a team, are focusing on one game at a time. Our team hasn’t really changed in response to our success. Practices are a little more intense, but how we play and support each other has stayed strong.”

“Our team has always had a great dynamic-very supportive and close. Our success is due to every girl on the team, and it has caused us to grow even closer. We are a team, and so we share the success, and there is no one you would rather share your success with than the people who have been by your side through everything you went through,” stated Myers.

A strong team that can be successful with a level head and without changing the team dynamic is a feat within itself. From this point on, the only challenges that lie ahead are in the mentality of upcoming games which the varsity players are tackling head on. Gabel stated that “if we win a game, we are excited, but we start looking to the next game or practice. I would love to see us keep winning, but if we lose a game it isn’t the end of the world. We are going to keep practicing hard and working on staying mentally tough in games.”

“I have high hopes for this season. It would be a dream to win nationals, but we’ve got a lot of work to do before we even get close to that, and I think it’s better to focus on the now, dig down, and put the work in rather than worry about what the result will be. As long as we compete and give the season everything we have, no matter the place we end up, it will have been a successful season,” stated Myers.

The Rocky Volleyball team wants everyone to be a part of their growing success, and they say that cheering fans give them the boost they need to win. Myers stated that “having lots of supporters drives us to play even better.”

“We really enjoy seeing how many people show up to our games. I think the student body should know how much we appreciate them coming to our games. It really does make it easier to play well, knowing you got the school behind you” stated Gabel.

Junior Mariah Stiffarm reaches to spike the volleyball onto the opposing side of the court.  photo by Brandon Keim

Junior Mariah Stiffarm reaches to spike the volleyball onto the opposing side of the court.

photo by Brandon Keim

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