Team camaraderie has paid dividends for the Rogers Rams volleyball team this season.
The Rams (15-4 overall, 3-1 SPSL 4A) placed third in the 64-team Linda Sheridan Classic Invitational on Oct. 5 in Spokane. Rogers’ first-year head coach John Reopelle said it has given the Rams the confidence they need for the stretch run.
“Many of the top teams in Washington, Idaho and Montana were there,” Reopelle said. “We lost to Skyview (Idaho), who were the eventual champs of the tournament. The weekend gave us many big wins against top-level teams, which showed the girls they can compete at a high level and be very successful.
“The closeness of this group is becoming more of an asset as we get deeper into the season and rely on each other to push one another at practice,” he said. “Some scrimmages at practice are as intense as any match we have played.”
Reopelle, who coached at Bethel High for the past 25 years, said he walked into a great situation at Rogers.
“The program had a strong foundation, and the girls and I have been working together hard to make the philosophical and mental changes that I wanted to bring with me from Bethel,” he said.
Reopelle said his team is ready for the final three weeks of the regular season.
“There are no easy matches in the SPSL South,” he said. “Every night, we have to play our best and hope that is enough to get the win. We would like to finish in the top three (in league) and see how that sets us up for the postseason.”
The Rams pride themselves on working together and don’t have a superstar they rely on.
“Everyone remembers that big hit or giant block, but it all starts with the dig or the pass,” Reopelle said. “We have girls who can do all of those things on any given point, so it really is a team effort by all of them.”