Lauren Reifsteck has been on the varsity volleyball team at Western Albemarle for three years, but this season, she stepped into a bigger role as the warriors setter and a team leader.
"The setter is kind of the quarterback of the team, decides where the mismatches are, who to go to, when to go to them," says Western volleyball coach Ron Pack. "She basically runs the show."
"It's helped me learn how to connect with everybody," said Reifsteck. "Some people, you know, you can tell people what to do and be more direct about it, where some people you kind of have to ease your way into it. So I think that's helped me learn how to mesh those two together and keep everybody happy."
Reifsteck led her team in assists this season with 479, but she did more for the Warriors than just spread the ball around.
"She just gives maximum effort every time she's out there on the floor, and that kind of thing is contagious," said Pack. "I think the other players feed off that, seeing she's giving everything she has, and they want to give everything they have also."
Reifsteck helped lead Western to the region playoffs in her senior year, and she earned second team All-Jefferson District honors.
"Her effort is what makes her special, not just in matches, but in practices also," Pack says of his senior standout. "She gives everything she has all the time. We'll be running drills, and balls will be flying off the court and she's hustling as hard as she can to make the play."
Reifsteck's effort is apparent in practices and matches and also in her schoolwork. She maintains a 4.1 GPA, and this semester is taking three classes at Western, in addition to a government course and an English course at Piedmont Valley Community College.
"I'm really interested in just new experiences," she says. "I just throw myself into things, it just happens. I don't know, when I heard this was an alternative high school path, I was just really intrigued by it. We really talk things out. It's less lecturing, telling us what we need to know and stuff. It's more of like cooperation and talking."
While her focus in college will be largely academic, Reifsteck says she'll keep playing volleyball in any way she can. "It's just so fun. There's so much adrenaline and it's so quick, it's just such a fun sport."