Freshman finds herself in unexpected role for Lady Jaguars

Posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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As the Summit volleyball team was preparing to enter fall camp, senior middle blocker Kayrin Wells was expected to be a big part of the Lady Jaguars’ plans. But a knee injury ended Wells’ season before it even began. It left a hole in the squad that needed to be filled, and head coach Linda Alfaro decided a freshman was the right choice to plug the void.

Enter Veronika Webb, who wasn’t expecting to find herself suiting up with the varsity squad this season.

“Honestly, I really didn’t think I [had a chance],” Webb said. “I thought I was JV material, until I started playing with varsity girls at the camp.”

Alfaro admits that she herself wasn’t initially sure Webb was ready for the varsity level.

“I didn’t expect her to be on varsity when we started,” she said. “We ended up needing to move her up.”

Alfaro had other options in mind initially, but Webb showed her enough to earn the opportunity.

“When we were watching her develop in our team camp, I recognized some things that maybe she could compete at this level and may be able to help us out without having to move other players around that weren’t traditionally middles,” Alfaro said.

Still a bit unsure, an assistant coach urged Alfaro to give Webb the shot, and ultimately she conceded.

“I didn’t want to pull her up to varsity and have her not playing,” Alfaro said. “That’s my biggest concern when I do pull up young players, is that I want them playing. So when we do pull them up we look at what kind of playing time they’re going to get. We saw in tryouts that she would be able to handle it, so that was the last thing to make it definite for me.”

Webb, who started playing volleyball as a little girl and started playing club ball two years ago, feels like she’s improved a lot over the first few weeks with the varsity squad, and has approached it without hesitation.

“It’s been fun,” she said. “It’s fun for the challenge. The biggest challenge is maybe to bring my A game up more than it has been in the past.”

That’s also one of the exciting things for Alfaro – how much potential still exists in Webb.

“She’s not really a power hitter for us at this point, but I think she will be,” Alfaro said. “She makes plays. Whether it’s a block here or there, or if the setter sets her and she finds a way to make a kill. It may not be a power kill at times, but she finds a way to make a play. And that’s what’s been helping us get through losing Kayrin.”

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