Tonawanda News

October 17, 2012

Gourlay used to going unnoticed on the volleyball court

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Rebecca Gourlay has always believed that actions speak louder than words.

In her third season of varsity with the Kenmore West Blue Devils volleyball team, Gourlay is far from a vocal, rah-rah leader. But she's definitely the kind of girl that sets the tone for her team with hard work and a positive attitude.

"She's a super hard worker, but she's very quiet," said Blue Devils coach Kelly Strong. "Liberos, I think, traditionally don't really get the recognition to begin with."

The heart of the defensive back row, Gourlay knows that her position doesn't come with the same kind of glamour as outside hitter or setter.

But that is OK with her, because she isn't seeking the spotlight. She just wants to quietly do her job and help the team get better.

"I just try to pass as well as I can because that is the basis of volleyball: passing," she said.

Gourlay is a tri-captain with fellow seniors Sarah Pray and Liz Gallagher and feels that each one of them bring something valuable to the table. The blend of their strengths help them all serve the team in a more efficient way as leaders.

"I think all three of the captains kind of have a different role. Sarah's the one with all of the experience and she can pump up the team," Gourlay said. "Gallagher has that personality where she's tough on us, but she makes it happen. And I'm kind of the one that tries to bring everyone together."

Strong said that having a good libero is critical to a volleyball team's success.

"She works so hard, and runs balls down and she's so quick back there," Strong said. "If we didn't have her our defense would not be the same. She's very smart in the fact that she has a lot of experience. Because we have the libero out there for six rotations, that's priceless."

Liberos tend to get noticed when they're not making plays, but Gourlay said it's just part of playing the position.

"You really only get noticed when you mess up," she said. "But sometimes when you have that one dig that's special — it's really exciting for the team. It kinda pumps up the hitters when you have a good dig."