Volleyball: Lowell’s Ashley DeBoer ‘personifies RDP’
By Ryan Haskell Post-Tribune correspondent September 16, 2013 9:56PM
Updated: October 18, 2013 6:33AM
A new coach brought a new opportunity for Lowell’s Ashley DeBoer.
And the junior was determined to make a good impression.
“It was one of my first days and I introduced myself and then she jumped and I was like who is this girl?” second-year coach Dana Jeffries-Radtke said. “I could just tell our relationship was going to grow from there.
“She just personifies RDP (Red Devil Pride). She is so coachable and she’s such a hard worker and she has been a role model for the freshmen class.”
DeBoer has definitely been a huge asset for Jeffries-Radtke since she began coaching at Lowell last season. The Red Devils finished under .500 last season in the 2012 season but have improved dramatically this season. The Red Devils are 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the Northwest Crossroads with their losses coming to Munster and Andrean.
The team has four freshmen on the roster and just one senior so there’s quite a bright future ahead.
“I think she’s just such a great asset to our team,” Jeffries-Radtke said. “She’s that nice girl that so coachable but you better watch out when she swings; she’s a hard worker and that’s how she got into this position. She is playing at a top Ignite traveling team.”
DeBoer rolled off 25 kills in a tough five-game loss to Hanover Central a couple of weeks back; she followed that with a match-high 27 kills in an exciting five-game win over Merrillville the next night.
She leads the team averaging 13 kills per match; she’s also averaging nine digs every contest.
But DeBoer knows her biggest role on the team is helping her underclassmen teammates get acclimated to the varsity level. Most of them have played club so she’s not worried about their skills but them learning the high school way of doing things.
“I was more mature the way I acted around these other varsity players because of club,” DeBoer said. “All of these girls have been playing volleyball a long time so they know their positions. I think it’s so important to get the experience this year because there is a comfort level. They have the skills. It’s about getting them comfortable and playing as a team.”
Having the right attitude is key too. Lowell won’t give up whether it’s down 3-0 or 24-0.
That’s the biggest thing Jeffries-Radtke talks about with her young squad. That attitude will go along way the next 1-1/2 seasons.
“Every year we need to strive to get better so we can grow and play competitive volleyball,” Jeffries-Radtke said. “And that means lifting weights and working in the off-season and Ashley does that. They’re all putting in that time so we’re all on the same page. If everybody stays on board with that, then the sky is the limit. Munster and Andrean work hard and that’s why they’ve had the success they’ve had.”