Kelsey Reibsamen works through position switch

Simpson University defensive specialist Kelsey Reibsamen goes up for the serve during a match in the fall.

Simpson University defensive specialist Kelsey Reibsamen goes up for the serve during a match in the fall.

With her team experiencing growing pains this past fall, Kelsey Reibsamen was asked to play a different position.

After being a setter for the Greenwave volleyball team and serving as Simpson University’s (Redding, Calif.) backup setter during her freshman season, Reibsamen switched roles and became Simpson’s defensive specialist. The transition was tough but Reibsamen saw improvement.

“Although it was a difficult transition from setter to (defensive specialist), I felt the goals I set for myself in that position were fulfilled,” said Reibsamen, who went from recording 50 digs in 2013 to 152 in 2014.

Simpson coach Thomas Kirst said he was pleased with Reibsamen’s adaption into her new role while still backing up Ashley Cervantes at setter.

“She did an amazing job and is always ready to take on any role in which the coaching staff or team needs,” he said. “She is a vital part of our program.”

Reibsamen played in all 28 games for Kirst and was fourth on the team in total games at 91. She dished out 59 assits and had 152 digs.

Becoming the team’s defensive specialist wasn’t the only change for Reibsamen this season after the Red Hawks finished 5-23.

While spending the season on the road in Washington, Arizona and Southern California, Reibsamen switched majors. She decided on majoring secondary social studies teaching after finishing her general education classes.

“Off the court, I love the university I chose to go to,” said Reibsamen, who added that beating their rival, William Jessup, and Pacific Union College as this year’s highlights. “I’ve made some great friends on and off the volleyball team and some awesome memories.”

Next season could be special for Reibsamen and her teammates.

Kirst expects to bring back 16 players from the 2014 squad and will be looking to Reibsamen to help lead.

“With Kelsey and Ashley as our setters and leaders on the court, I will expect nothing less than a great 2015 season,” he said. “Kelsey is a leader. She is always willing to do what her coach asks of her and whatever the team needs to succeed.”

Reibsamen wants to see the team not only have a winning season but also win the conference. She also wants to become a better player as well as a leader on and off the court.

“Heading into being an upperclassman, my personal goals consist of being a leader for the younger ladies on the team, as well as increasing personal statistics from the year before,” Reibsamen said.

Kirst is excited about Reibsamen’s future as a player and once her playing career is over.

“As a role model, her teammates look up to her,” Kirst said about Reibsamen, who wants to teach and coach after college. “Kelsey has the potential to become a great volleyball coach when she is done with College. Her patience, work ethic, motivation and ability to lead and teach are one of a kind.”

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