CMost need time to adjust to a new position.
Janie White needed little of that.
Rossview High’s volleyball team moved its most consistent and dominate player from her usual middle hitter spot to give her more opportunities to lay down the hammer on the outside. As if more than 300 kills last year weren’t enough, White took to her new position like a fish in water as she produced another outstanding season statistically while helping her team capture the program’s second region title in its young history.
And for the second straight year, White has been named The Leaf-Chronicle All Area Volleyball Player of the Year. The award is voted on by the newspaper sports staff while the All Area volleyball team is selected by the area athletics directors.
“I think it’s just a matter of learning quickly,” White said. “That’s something I’ve always been able to do. I try to soak in as much as I can and then apply it.”
White could have been talking about the transition from middle hitter to outside but she was actually referring to her ability to play volleyball only during the high school season — which is basically from August through October. The rest of her teammates compete at the club volleyball level during the offseason.
White, whose first love remains basketball, has been able to successfully come into the prep volleyball season and dominate with little time to develop cohesion with her teammates during the summer.
“I think that’s why our team can play well if Janie isn’t in the lineup,” Rossview coach Jen Garinger said. “They play all summer without her so they learn how to play without Janie on the court. And when Janie returns for the season, we’re that much better.”
White helped Rossview to a 31-6 record, including another District 10 regular-season undefeated season. This year, however, her team was upset in the district tournament title game by Dickson County. But that led to Rossview’s region championship run that saw it knock off Portland in the semifinals and Mt. Juliet in the region title game.
“I think we got a little happy with ourselves after the regular season,” White said. “We weren’t focused for Dickson and got beat. But we were focused against Portland and Mt. Juliet and winning a region championship felt great.”
White finished with 343 kills, 78 blocks and 162 digs on the season.
“Moving to outside was an adjustment but I made it,” White said. “In the middle you get more blocks but we were strong in the middle and we have depth there so they wanted me to play outside and try to take advantage there.”
White will return for her senior season next season with the other outside hitter in Mica Koontz who also added 252 kills this past year. That should give Rossview another shot at an undefeated regular season and possibly more.