Sages senior Barr continues to raise her game
MONTICELLO – For Chelsea Barr, there is only one appropriate grading scale to evaluate her performance on the volleyball court.
It's pass or fail.
The Monticello senior is the team's libero, which means she plays exclusively in the back row.
When an opponent's hit comes her way, one of two things happens: She passes or she fails.
Coach Annie Camacho might be inclined to give Barr an 'A,' however. She's one of the area's leaders in digs this season and recorded a typically solid effort Thursday as Monticello (22-1) swept visiting Okaw Valley Conference foe Argenta-Oreana (7-20) by matching 25-12 scores.
"She has been an amazing passer," Camacho said. "She goes 100 percent after every ball and is not afraid to put her body on the floor."
The results are seen in the Sages' production. Lucy Coleman, the area leader in kills, pounded 10 in 12 attempts (with no errors) against the Bombers.
In the opening game, Coleman landed seven kills in seven swings and scored the team's first and last points on kills. She was a catalyst in Game 2 also, scoring the first point ona block and the 25th on an ace.
"With hitters like Lucy, you have to have the passer to get the ball to the setter," Camacho said.
That's why during the offseason the coach elected to take Barr away from her role as an outside hitter.
"It was a very tough decision because she is a very good hitter," Camacho said. "I knew that we had so many other hitters, and for us to be as good as I thought we could be, we needed her passing."
Barr didn't complain. She embraced the role like a mother with a newborn.
"If she wasn't such a good sport, it would have been harder," Camacho said.
Barr has taken ownership of the position and accepts responsibility any time an opponent gets a kill.
"I have an 'every ball is yours' mentality," Barr said. "If one drops, I feel I could have done something, even if it was encouraging a teammate to get to one that I couldn't."
Barr had a match-high eight digs against A-O. Monticello held a 21-5 edge in kills.
Camacho said Barr's value goes beyond her effectiveness as a passer.
"She's a captain and one of our best leaders," she said. "She makes the girls focus."
Barr didn't set specific statistical targets for herself this season.
"I just wanted to aim high and never quit," she said. "Keep pushing hard. Stay positive and stay calm. I knew we had great potential."
A-O coach Greg Cothern said Barr is excelling in her role.
"She is the glue for that team," he said. "She directs them and is a good leader."
Cothern cited another factor in the Sages' success.
"They have a good coach and the kids respect her and listen to her," Cothern said.
Monticello had plenty of contributors Thursday.
Coleman had six digs and a match-high four blocks to go with her flawless hitting. Hannah Deterding had 10 assists. Eryn Finet had seven assists and four kills.
Ellen Terstriep served four aces, including three in suc-cession in Game 1. Barr and Deterding each had three aces.
For the Bombers, Taylor Brunner had two blocks and two kills.