Top Performer: Riley Freeland
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The setter on a volleyball team is much like the quarterback in football.
They direct the team’s offense.
Basically, they decide who should get the ball and when.
For Rapid City Christian, that player is Riley Freeland and she is a big part of the Comets’ success this season.
Riley Freeland has never been the kind to steal the spotlight.
But she’s been one of the shining stars for the Rapid City Christian volleyball program.
“She’s very humble and very wants the best for her teammates,” RC Christian head volleyball coach Elizabeth Kieffer said. “She wants them probably more even to be in the spotlight than herself.”
Freeland is a 6-foot-1 setter who’s talent and work ethic is hard to hide.
In fact, the senior has been a part of the volleyball program at Rapid City Christian since she was an eighth grader.
“I actually hated it,” Riley Freeland said. “My mom made me play my first two years. Then I got pulled up my eighth grade year to play varsity and jv. Those seniors that were there my eighth grade year, just really encouraged me and poured into me and showed me how to compete and how to thrive under pressure. So that was where I kind of fell in love with the game and then it just grew since then.”
Freeland has been one of the Comets’ top contributors in three major categories, assists, blocks and kills.
So far in her high school career, she has over 2,200 assists, over 400 kills and nearly 200 blocks.
“Coach Kieffer has really pushed me to be one of the best blockers on the team,” Freeland said. “Then one of our assistants, Coach Coates has pushed me to just really hone in on my kills. Then my mom, Coach Freeland, has just really pushed me in the assists part of the game. I’ve had a lot of time in practice and in games to work on those different abilities and so it’s been awesome.”
Coach Kieffer says Freeland has great decision-making skills and is admired by all of her teammates.
“I think it makes or breaks a team because she (Freeland) has to run the offense and lead our team,” RC Christian outside hitter Olivia Kieffer said. “So if she can’t get us the ball, then we can’t win. So I think she’s super important. I think she does an awesome job.”
Freeland will play for Dordt University in Iowa next year.
But in the meantime, she’s focused on helping the Comets win a state title this weekend in Watertown.
“Two years ago when we were there, we got eighth,” Freeland said. “So we weren’t really satisfied with that. So I think this year, we want to play well and we want to compete well and have a lot of fun doing it.”
Congratulations to Riley Freeland on being named a NewsCenter 1 Top Performer.
No. 3 Rapid City Christian will play Dakota Valley in the opening round of the State ‘A’ Volleyball Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m.
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