By: Elise Siebert
All four seniors on the Lady Trojans Volleyball team have individual qualities that help bring the team together. During every match, these players are leaders to the younger teammates, and they all have different ways to encourage and guide each other to victory.
As the volleyball team captain, Rhodes has a lot of responsibilities. Thankfully, she had someone to guide her into this leadership position starting her freshman year.
“I spent my freshman and sophomore years behind one of role models, and she really built me as a leader and as a setter because she was a setter as well,” says Rhodes. “Her name is Caley Eslick she graduated two years ago and we played club together. She was a great leader she really inspired me to be a better person. She was a great person on and off the court.”
She not only has to encourage her team, but also has to find ways to help them all to grow their skills.
Burge lives and breathes volleyball. She is on the varsity team, she coaches volleyball for younger club teams, and she has been playing sand volleyball for two years. Also, her dad has a lot of experience with volleyball so she has had a mentor to look up to throughout her life.
“My dad grew up playing beach volleyball and he was on the Junior Olympics team,” says Burge. “My dad never forced the sport on me; he let me choose what I wanted to do and I ended up picking volleyball. He would help me through it and I can always go talk to him when I have questions.”
Williams has been playing since the age of nine when she saw a flyer for volleyball and begged her mom to let her tryout. Now, she is playing for her last year on high school team and has been working very hard to be a leader. Not only is she a great athlete on the court (being able to play each position if needed,) she is also great off the court. Williams has an uplifting spirit that spreads throughout the whole team. Despite the score, during the breaks she is always seen dancing and trying her best to bring motivation.
“I think it is really important to stay up and positive because volleyball is very much a mental game,” says Williams. “If you get too inside your head, you are going to make mistakes so just staying up and positive with your team is really encouraging and really helps to take away the worry.”
Something very important to Rathbun is giving back to the volleyball community. She goes out of her way to make the people a priority by helping with the seventh and eighth grade teams and also covering shifts for the coaches. Along with the high school team, she plays for a club team and she plays sand volleyball.
“I always knew that I wanted to do a sport and I was kind of experimenting,” says Kylie Rathbun. “What called me to volleyball specifically was the team dynamic of it because you can’t have one player that does everything, it is very much about togetherness. I think it takes more trust and teamwork than some other sports do.”
Just like other sports, volleyball would love to have the “superfan” support. To go cheer on the team, go jenksvolleyball.com for information about future matches and other volleyball news.