Stepping into a new role
Ruble ready to lead youthful La Plata volleyball team into 2016
While on the volleyball court Devin Ruble is frequently all smiles and never lets the pressure get to her one bit.
The junior outside hitter on the La Plata volleyball team is eager in venturing into new territory for the 2016 season — being a leader.
“It is definitely a little intimidating,” said Ruble on taking on the new role. “But I really love all these girls and they are always such good friends of mine that I don’t really think of myself as a leader whether they think I am or not. But it is great to have an opportunity to be a leader, so I hope they accept that.”
To go along with being in the leadership role, Ruble, one of the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference’s best hitters, will not only be a huge part offensively, but will have to dig out spikes defensively.
Last season, Ruble recorded a conference-high 157 kills to go along with 117 digs, 12 service aces, 11 blocks and six assists in leading the Warriors to an undefeated 6-0 record in SMAC’s Potomac Division (11-6 overall). She was named the All-County Athlete of the Year and picked up All-SMAC firstteam honors.
“What she brings to this team is that she inspires the girls to play harder, dig deeper and everyone just responds,” said La Plata head coach Bill Young, who has also coached Ruble in club during her youth days. “When she gets a good hit, they are all excited and plays better and follow her example.”
After leading the softball team to a Class 2A state title in May, Ruble spent the summer doing plyometric drills to improve her agility and weight training to improve her overall strength on the volleyball court.
Ruble played for the Southern Maryland Volleyball Club on the 18-and-Under team from November to April to hone her skills up against top-notch competition. That experience and offseason training will make Ruble an even better player, making it very tough for opposing teams to deal with her.
“This year my goal is to work on my control instead of just swinging at the ball,” added Ruble, who will entering her third year as a varsity starter.
She is one of five juniors on La Plata, which also features three freshmen, three sophomores and just one senior.
“A big expectation for this team is to grow as the season goes on and our success rate with be judged on how fast we grow as a unit,” Ruble said. “This team has a lot of drive and we all want it.”
On how Ruble has impacted her on the court, sophomore setter Ava Krahling, also a member of the softball team said, “I look up to Devin a lot. We’ve been playing volleyball and softball for a while now and her being on this team gives me a lot of confidence and she is always there when I need her. Knowing that she is there and me setting her I know that she is going to put the ball away because she has so much power. She is overall a great athlete.”
Young said that Ruble, recently named one of the team captains for this season, from a year ago and is ready for the transition.
“Devin makes far less mistakes than she did last year and is much more consistent. “Even though she had a lot of kills last year, she had some miscues, but she is much more improved coming into this season.”
Young added that along with Ruble the Warriors will have some other offensive threats this season.
“We don’t have any weak players, they love having fun,” he said. “I can’t work them hard enough, they typically want to work harder than I push them. I think the biggest difference is that we have more offensive weapons, so it will be harder to key on one person. I’m very excited for this season to begin.
La Plata will open the season next Tuesday with a SMAC Potomac Division match at Westlake, scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Junior outside hitter Devin Ruble, a returning starter, will lead the La Plata Warriors volleyball team in 2016. Ruble led the conference with 157 kills in 2015 and was named the All-County Athlete of the Year as well as boasting All-SMAC first-team honors.
Junior outside hitter Devin Ruble, a returning starter, will lead the La Plata Warriors volleyball team in the 2016 season. Ruble led the conference with 157 kills last year.