Hickman setters set to take lead

Friday, August 29, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:06 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Rock Bridge varsity volleyball team showed good chemistry, but is still looking for leadership.

The Bruins varsity defeated the junior varsity Thursday night in the annual Green and Gold scrimmage. The varsity beat the junior varsity 25-5, 25-11, 25-16.

Junior Katie Payne led the varsity team with six kills. Ashley Selby and Marisa Jeffrey each contributed three digs.

Coach Vicki Reimler said she was pleased overall with her team’s performance.

“I saw some chemistry among the varsity team that I was hoping to see,” she said. “I thought the passing was a lot better than it’s been.”

Despite the varsity’s good chemistry, Reimler said she has other concerns. Rock Bridge lost seven players to graduation from last year’s 18-7-1 squad. Reimler is more worried about filling the leadership void left by the graduating players than replacing their talent.

“I think we’re still trying to find that vocal leader. I’ve got eight seniors,” she said, “but they’re a quiet group.”

Reimler expects junior Ashley Schulte to be one of the more vocal players. Schulte, however, did not play in the scrimmage because of a severely sprained left ankle. Reimler also does not expect Schulte to play Tuesday in Rock Bridge’s 6 p.m. opening match on the road against Jefferson City. Schulte injured her ankle in preseason practice.

The Bruins will need to look elsewhere for vocal inspiration until Schulte is cleared to play.

“My two setters, Taran Eckenrode and Ashley Selby, are going to be two really important catalysts,” Reimler said. “They’re the quarterbacks of a volleyball team, as setters, and I think they’re going to have to dig in and provide that kind of leadership too.”

Rock Bridge’s trip to Jefferson City will mark the first match for the teams played under rally scoring. The Missouri State High School Activities Association made the switch to rally scoring to speed up play.

In rally scoring, a point will be scored on each volley, regardless of which team is serving. Rally games are also played to 25 points instead of 15.

Reimler said she does not think the new rules will have a significant impact on her team.

The Bruins know facing Jefferson City will be a huge challenge. Jefferson City defeated Rock Bridge last season 15-1, 15-5.

“I know we’ll have our hands full,” Reimler said, “but you just have to get out there and see how you stack up against the competition.”

Rock Bridge’s first home match will be 6 p.m. Thursday against Mexico.

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