As Rock Bridge prepares to host Osage, Tipton and Warrenton in its annual volleyball tournament Saturday, Bruins coach Vicki Reimler said her team will head into this weekend not quite sure what to expect.
“I don’t know anything about any of them,” she said. “It’s always a surprise, and I don’t think any of them know anything about the rest of us. So we just kind of come into it blind and see what happens.”
Reimler might want to resort to the same strategy she has used in this tournament the past two seasons. Rock Bridge will try to win it for the third consecutive year.
The round-robin tournament starts at 9 a.m. with Osage playing Warrenton.
Rock Bridge meets Tipton immediately after the first match. The teams with the best records will play for the championship.
Tipton comes to Rock Bridge off to a 1-1 start, and Warrenton is 0-4. Osage entered its game Thursday night 1-2.
A series of injuries have contributed to the Bruins’ 1-3 start.
Senior Taran Eckenrode, one of the Bruins’ three captains, broke her nose in a car accident just before the start of the season and is out indefinitely. Ashley Schulte, a senior middle hitter, played in her first game in Tuesday’s loss at Montgomery County after she sprained an ankle in a preseason practice. Schulte said she is playing at about 80 percent strength.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily tender, but I don’t think she’s full strength yet,” Reimler said.
To compensate for the injuries, Reimler has been forced to shuffle her lineup. Senior Ashley Selby has played well as the team’s lone setter.
Senior Kadie Marler and junior Katie Payne have been used as utility players. The lineup shuffling has made it difficult for the Bruins to develop chemistry.
“Our rotation has been a little bit off just because everyone’s been in and out,” Schulte said. “Now I’m coming back, and they have to make those adjustments to me coming back.”
Rock Bridge has the advantage of playing onits home court this weekend, and avoiding the early morning travel can only help.
“The familiar surroundings, that’s always good,” Reimler said.