Rock Bridge volleyball coach Beth Newton made some changes Thursday night, and the Bruins temporarily stalled.
The Bruins fell to Helias 25-6, 25-19 at Rock Bridge.
Throughout the first game, Rock Bridge looked confused, so Newton decided to change her starting lineup and rotations to give the team a greater balance of youth and experience.
“Those issues about knowing whose ball it is that we had in the beginning of the season have resurfaced because of the new rotations,” Newton said.
She said everyone on the team was willing to accept their new roles, but to some players the mid-season adjustment was frustrating.
“With high school girls, it’s the hardest thing to control their emotions,” Newton said. “I try to be constructive and positive.”
Senior Ashley Stanfill, a former starter, is in the second rotation and plays outside hitter. She said that though she enjoyed starting, she understands the reasoning behind the adjustments.
“Before we got these new rotations, we had some rotations where there wasn’t much leadership out there,” she said. “We now have somebody out there in every single rotation that has experience and is willing to talk.”
Stanfill also said she thinks it has helped the team build better chemistry.
“Everybody is realizing that we are playing as a team and not for ourselves,” she said.
Sophomore Jade Hardaway, who plays outside hitter, said she thinks the team has improved with the new rotations.
“It was a tough team but we were learning what to do and getting used to the new rotations,” she said. “I think it helped us a lot. We were much more ready for the blocks and on our toes.”
Hardaway had a season high four kills, including two straight in the second game to bring the Bruins within reach at 18-15.
Newton said though the new rotations contributed to the loss, Helias also deserved credit.
“They did a great job of reading what our defense is doing. They did a really good job of watching the back line and keeping track of where our middle back was going.”
Newton said she thinks the new rotations will be polished by the time districts roll around at the end of the month.
“We just need to get some more repetitions under our belt,” she said, “and we will be a better team in the end.”