During a tough, potentially divisive season for Battery Creek High School volleyball, its seniors stepped in to lead.
The Dolphins lost much of their front row to Whale Branch High School. But team chemistry, including activities outside of volleyball, have aided the Dolphins' cause this season.
And the willingness of players to adapt has helped fill voids. Senior Katie Bogardus is among those who underwent a transition. She moved from her spot at libero to outside hitter, where she is learning an entirely different game.
The Beaufort Gazette/Island Packet caught up with Bogardus this week to talk about missing pieces, her position change and the tasty discounts she receives as part of her after-school job.
Question: Your team lost a lot (of players) to Whale Branch. How do you think you've done without those girls?
Answer: I'd say just about the same. It was kind of tough, because we had been playing with them -- those are the same girls who have been on varsity for like three years now. It's the same effort, because they got good girls and we've got good girls.
Q: What were some key positions your team had to fill?
A: Our front row, definitely. The only real person we have front row is Ciara (Lelie). I'm usually back row. I've never played front row in my life. We lost all our front-row girls. But (Whale Branch's) weakness is, we got all back row.
Q: So you're playing front row this year, outside hitter. How has that transition been?
A: It's good. I'm still learning how to hit and stuff like that. I knew my footwork, but I'm not really good with swinging through and snapping down. I'm so used to just hitting it straight. I'm not used to following through.
Q: You're a senior this year. Do you have any plans for next year yet?
A: I'm hoping to get a scholarship somewhere. My previous coach, Coach (Katie) Cox, my club coach, we have videos that we're trying to send to colleges for me and Ciara. If I don't get a scholarship anywhere, I still want to play volleyball in college.
Q: Have you played club with some of these girls?
A: Yes. All of those girls on Whale Branch play club with me. I know all of those girls. I played club for three years and this will be my fourth year after the (varsity) season.
Q: How long have you played volleyball?
A: Since I was in seventh grade.
Q: Is playing in college something you've always wanted to do?
A: Yeah, I like watching it on TV and beach volleyball. I like it. I really like Penn State. Penn State's one of my favorite teams. During volleyball season, it's usually their volleyball season, too. Actually, after ours is when their (season) kind of starts.
Q: What are some of the things you've worked on this year?
A: Blocking. I'm not really that tall, so I've tried to figure out how to jump and stuff. I'm learning how to jump serve this year. When you jump serve, it's just a hitting approach. I want to jump serve so I can do that in club.
Q: If you play in college, what position do you think you would play?
A: I'd probably want to be a libero again. I've been libero for three years playing varsity. And this is my first year not playing libero. But I still like it.
Q: What do you think of Camden, your first-round playoff opponent?
A: Last year we played Camden the second round of the playoffs, and they beat us pretty bad. They might have lost people like we lost ours. We had nothing but seniors last year. Now me, Ciara and Megan (Peola) are the only seniors. So maybe they're just like us.
Q: What's been the seniors' role this year?
A: We have to take care of everybody on the court. We can't let attitudes go around. We have to keep grades up and everything else. We get frustrated sometimes, but who doesn't? We've been pretty good with keeping the team together and doing team activities and stuff.
Q: What do you all do outside of volleyball?
A: We all hang out. We just recently went to a haunted house in Beaufort as a team. It's good. You need to be a team on and off the court.
Q: What do you like to do outside of volleyball?
A: I have a job, so if I'm not doing volleyball, I work every day but game days. And if I'm not doing volleyball, I'm out with my boyfriend or out with Ciara or somebody. I work at Firehouse Subs.
Q: Do you get free food?