Rock Bridge volleyball enjoys roster depth, experienced players

Friday, September 13, 2013 | 11:09 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Standing back with her arms crossed, Rock Bridge volleyball coach Robin Sherman was a woman of few words during practice Wednesday night.

Sherman observed from a distance, occasionally giving pieces of advice, but mostly letting her players play. There wasn't any shouting, pep talks or motivational speeches.

Sherman said that this is a usual occurrence during practice, and sometimes she prefers to let the girls figure things out on their own.

"I'm not a big loud yeller," Sherman said. "We practice what we need to practice, ask a lot of questions, work on certain situations, but that's sort of always been my style. Kind of quiet. The girls have to motivate themselves."

With nine seniors on the team, Sherman has a lot of help. Instead of going to the coach for advice every time, the girls usually go to one of the seniors for tips. Defensive specialist Jessica Lambert is one of those seniors.

"I have a couple of JV players that I work out with and they're always like 'How do you do this?' and 'How do you mentally prepare for that?'" Lambert said. "They've seen that I have the experience and that I've dealt with some of the things they're going through."

Along with the experience comes a plethora of talent. Many players have already committed to colleges.

Junior setter Ali Kreklow has committed to Missouri, senior middle Audrey Holt to Missouri State, and senior middle Kayla Cheadle to Kansas. Kayla's twin sister Chayla, who is also on the team, has committed to Kansas to play basketball.

"We've got a lot of talent and depth in a lot of positions," Sherman said. "It's a nice problem to have. We've got a tough second team that can continue to push the starting team.

"I expect a lot out of them," Sherman added. "If we can keep our heads on straight this year, we'll do well."

Going in with a record of 3-0, the team will compete in a tournament on Saturday at Rockwood Summit High School.

Looking forward, junior outside hitter Bailey Lawson believes staying focused as a team is important to remaining undefeated.

"Every single play, no matter how small, we need to focus on winning the point," Lawson said. "We need to focus on playing our best even though we're going to have different competition."

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