Playing Up: Junior High Players on High School Volleyball Teams


Carter Booth (#52) for the block!

Michaela Dooley
Varsity huddles before their match

Volleyball is a popular sport here at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, and many girls choose to participate in it. With only three junior high teams, some girls play up. You can watch Carter Booth who is an eighth grader on varsity, block opponents’ hits with the skill of a senior, or Molly Voss, another eighth-grader who is on B Squad, slam an outside hit right into the court of the other team. Even though these girls can be 4-6 years younger than their other teammates, they aren’t disadvantaged.

Playing high school volleyball is a great experience. It teaches cooperation and teamwork skills. Accompanied by three junior high players, the 9A team recently won first and second place in tournaments. One of these players, Kate McGowan, describes her experience on a high school team as “more intense than junior high” and “very different.”  Even though high school volleyball requires talent and athleticism, you also need a great deal of dedication and respect. Junior high players don’t get it easy just because they are younger; they have to work just as hard as their other teammates. A lot of conditioning and drills go into the practices. Junior high players, along with the rest of the team, must be ready to work hard and run killers if they don’t. If players don’t attend practice or aren’t on time, they don’t play.

Chelsie Sobieck, the 9A volleyball coach at BSM, says she enjoys working with junior high players because “they are some of my hardest workers because they want to prove themselves.” She also says, “They tend to have to learn more than the older girls who have already been introduced to a lot of the volleyball skills.” Her team closed out the year with a big win against Chanhassen.

Volleyball is an excellent sport that is enjoyed by many different age groups. Younger girls are given more opportunities to play to their full potential here at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, and they can get a great experience out of the program. BSM’s volleyball program offers junior high players the chance to play at the level that best suits them, which some other schools can’t. Sometimes, the youngest players can make the biggest difference.

Michaela Dooley
Eighth-grader Cater Booth, #52, goes up for a big block