COLUMBIA — At Tuesday’s practice, senior Cora Trout had to do what Rock Bridge volleyball coach Tatum Anderson calls a “challenge.” One player is singled out to do a drill in which they must succeed in order for the team to take a water break.
Anderson began throwing balls at Trout, who had to successfully hit, set or dig each one. She had no problem with this part of the challenge. The hardest part for her was having to yell out “mine” or “tip” at each ball.
At 5 feet 3 inches, Trout is the smallest player on the team, and her voice reflects her size. When shouting during a game, her voice is almost a whisper in comparison to her louder teammates.
"I’m a quiet person,” Trout said. “I mean, I don’t like talking that much. So for me to shout a bunch is hard.”
Anderson made her continue the drill until she was loud enough for everyone to hear.
After the break, Anderson announced that Trout would be moving to the libero position for Thursday’s game. Trout hasn’t played libero all season and admitted that she was a little nervous about it, especially because of the vocal leadership that the position requires.
“We kind of consider libero as an emotional captain,” Anderson said. “Whereas the setter leads the way running the court, the libero leads the way with emotion.”
After defeating visiting Blair Oaks 25-13, 25-16 Thursday, both Anderson and Trout were pleased with the way Trout performed at her new position.
“I thought I did well today,” Trout said. “I shouted a lot. My voice is sore.”
Trout’s effort paid off in her last game on Rock Bridge's home court. The win gave the Bruins an undefeated record at home this season. Anderson said it was not something she expected at the beginning of the season but that it was welcomed. She mentioned that her seniors wanted to “go out in style.” And they did, especially Trout.
“We challenged her and at first, she was a little timid, but she did a great job coming around,” Anderson said.
Trout will be back to her normal position as a defensive specialist Thursday when the Bruins (24-6) take on rival Hickman at Columbia College.