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'A coach on the court'

Rolette's Belgarde has been a positive leader for Comet netters

October 9, 2009
Matt Mullally

Rolette-Wolford's 2008 season ended with two quick losses at the District 8 Tournament in Cando

While most of the Comet players gathered together in the stands to watch the tournament's semifinal matches, outside hitter Whitney Belgarde chose to sit alongside R-W coach Jason Heinz.

"We talked about our season...talked what we (our program) needed to do to take steps toward competing with the likes of district contenders Langdon and North Star,' Heinz recalls. "Whitney's always always trying to be a better player and finding ways to make her team better."

"A coach on the court" is further how Heinz characterized the senior's importance to the program.

She encourages her young teammates and keeps a positive attitude despite the Comets' struggles on the court, Heinz said.

Whitney has been playing on the Comets' varsity since her sophomore season and was part of the squad that earned the program's first trip to region tournament play in 2007. She learned a great deal from playing alongside talented upperclassmen.

"I learned you have to play with a lot of energy (intensity),' she said. "You can't stand around, you have to move your feet."

Whitney strives to do that every match, competing for every point.

The outside hitter is among the leaders in kills and blocks, but those personal stats don't mean much.

Whitney's only interested in helping her team improve. She admits it's not been the season she envisioned as the squad has just one win in their first 10 matches. However, the team has the talent to turn things around come the postseason.

"We're looking at it (the district tournament) as a whole new season,' she said.

Belgarde is prepared to step up her game, and hopefully her teammates will follow her lead.

"She's such a competitor and hopefully her teammates recognize that, and are willing to follow her lead,' Heinz said.



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