Transitioning from one position to another is difficult, but Emma Rigby’s versatility and commitment on the volleyball team proved that it could be done—thus making her Cyclone of the Week.
Originally trained as an outside blocker, Rigby sacrificed her position to become a middle blocker. Understanding that her team was in dire need for someone in the middle of the court, Rigby was willing to switch and learn the new position.
Head coach Loke Davis was impressed by how quickly Rigby was able to quickly transition into her new position. According to Davis, it is a huge shift to change from the outside to the middle of the court. The outside blocker, or “safe person,” is able to see more of the court and less likely to be in the way of a play, as opposed to the middle blocker who has a limited court view and must be able to make quicker attacks.
“She is competitive with other middle blockers in the [Division Three] conference that have been playing the middle blocker position for years,” Davis said.
Rigby has become a valuable middle blocker for her ability to read the opponent’s attacks. Reading the attack works in a pattern – watching the ball, then the setter, back to the ball, and then the hitter. This skill has helped Rigby be responsive on defense and prepare for a quick offensive attack.
In the game against UC Merced, Rigby dominated in her middle blocker position. She led the team with three kills (a successful point-scoring play), two blocks and a dig. Although the Cyclones had a tough loss against the Bobcats, Rigby’s performance was highly valued in the game.
“She was one person who stood out as a consistent leader across the board,” Davis said. “Bringing that consistent game was really valuable for the success of our team.”
Despite having to learn new skills as middle blocker, Rigby has noticed improvements in her volleyball techniques. Her passing and blocking has become much stronger since becoming a middle blocker.
As Rigby’s volleyball skill has tremendously improved during her second year on the team, so has her leadership. Co-Captain and fellow middle blocker Miranda Crothers has noticed Rigby’s transformation into an outstanding leader for the team.
“She is the rock of the team,” Crothers said. “When the team gets frazzled, she calms them down.”
Going into this season, Rigby’s goal was to become a better leader on the court and a role model for the new first year players. Since there are no juniors or seniors on this year’s team, Rigby felt that it was her duty to set standards and create a welcoming environment.
Co-captain and first year Janan Salaan admires Rigby’s work ethic on and off the court. Salaan believes that Rigby is a dedicated athlete — always the first to be at practice and always having positive attitude for her teammates.
“There was never a time when myself or the other first years ever doubted [Rigby],” Salaan said. “We are lucky to have her on the team.”
Rigby was surprised when she found out that her Cyclone of the Week Award. With only two games left in this season, Rigby plans on giving it her all and finishing this season strong.
“It’s time to leave everything out on the court,” Rigby said.