Girls joust during volleyball tryouts


Members of the JV Volleyball team Photo courtesy of Brooke Plesner

As summer draws to a close and camps begin to end, the St. Joe volleyball girls only have one thing on their mind: tryouts.

Tryouts are the time when the body will be pushed to the limit, skills will be evaluated, and everything that atheletes have been training for all summer will be put to the test. It’s no secret that volleyball is a very popular sport at St. Joe, and, with that, comes the fierce competition to earn a spot on the team.

Even though tryouts can be tough, sophomore Brooke Plessner claims that “everyone there is going through exactly what we are going through so we are all in it together.” In the end, the hard work is always worth it because the St. Joe volleyball team isn’t just a team, it’s a sisterhood.

Sophomores Plessner and Kate Diedrich both agree that the upperclassmen are “super welcoming,” and “it’s always great to see our friends in the halls.”

There are so many fun events throughout the volleyball season, such as senior night. This is the night that the game is dedicated to the seniors for all their time and hard work put into the volleyball season.

One of the seniors, Morgan Smith, reminisced on her time so far on the team and all of the memories.

“My favorite memory was team bonding at Table Rock Lake after our game against Nixa,” Morgan said.

She also says she will “miss the girls the most because we form really strong friendships over the season.”

Morgan will be attending Truman State University and is committed to playing volleyball there. As any athlete like Morgan would know, it takes a lot of practice to become a Varsity player.

In these practices, the players are split up by position so they can focus on what they specialize in. On some occasions, the Varsity team will scrimmage the Junior Varsity team so they can all improve on their skills in a real game situation. Like all St. Joe sports, there is always time at the end of practice for conditioning.

After a tough week of tryouts, the coaches have made their decisions, and the teams have been formed.

This year’s Varsity team includes: Tara Beilsmith, Gabby Blossom, Johni Bunkers, Hanna Dressing, Madison Gresham, Annie Herrenbruck, Bella Lorenz, Amanda Meyer, Claire Ochs, Brooke Plessner, and Morgan Smith. This year’s JV team includes: Ella Baer, CC Chipley, Lana Gerard, Michele Origliasso, Lexi Padberg, Brooke Plessner, Taylor Polcyn, and Jordan Roschke. This year’s freshman team includes: Mia Adamski, Alayna Burke, Christin Elliot, Bridget Fitzgerald, Ava Gamma, Lizzie Hickman, Riley Morris, Olivia Murphy, Peyton Politte, Amelia Schneider, and Flynn Wiegner.

Coach Katie Richardson has high hopes for the team.

“I expect us to have a great season. We have strong senior leadership from Gabby Blossom, Madison Gresham, Claire Ochs, and Morgan Smith. All four have come out focused on the long term goal,” she said. “We play a tough schedule and go out of town to play some of the top teams in the country to prepare us for the end of the season. I am really excited about this team. They have been working hard during pre-season, and they have all had competitive and positive attitudes. On and off the court, they are all exceptional people that I feel lucky to coach.”

For anyone hoping to make a spot on the team in the future, Coach Richardson sayid she looks for players who are “hard workers, athletic, and like to win.” Other players suggest to act with confidence,  be loud and supportive, and have fun.

Come and support the Varsity Team on their first home game on Wednesday, September 6 against Edwardsville.