SPEARFISH — Spearfish High School senior Halle Rogers earned a spot on a Black Hills Juniors nationals team affiliated with the USA Volleyball association.
Rogers learned about her selection on Dec. 5.
“I was so thankful and just so excited that I would get the chance to be a part of their team,” Rogers said when learning of her selection.
She said the team has not released a schedule of tournaments or anything else of that nature.
The Rapid City-based team features players who are 17 and 18 years of age. Rogers is currently 17 years old.
Black Hills Juniors Club Director Annika Stevens said the team is currently a nationals squad. She added it has a chance to qualify for next summer’s Junior Olympics.
Rogers said the skill level at tryouts was quite intense and a lot of fun. That enthused her the most about the selection.
Personal goals for Rogers are twofold. She said she wants to improve herself through this program and hopefully earn a collegiate scholarship.
As for the future, Rogers has not looked at any particular colleges. She said she would love the opportunity to do so.
Rogers has competed in volleyball for five years. She started in the sport because many of her eight-grade friends did so. “All the coaches liked me because I was tall,” she said with a laugh.
During the most recent high school season, Rogers played the middle blocker position. She has played hitter positions through the years.
Friendships, and traveling with teammates, formed Rogers’ earliest memories. She also recalled being able to improve her skill set.
“My favorite thing would be forming a little family on the team,” Rogers said.
Rogers’ biggest challenge centered on a knee surgery she was forced to undergo. “I didn’t know if I would recover from that and play volleyball again,” she said.
That injury occurred during her sophomore year but not on the court.
Rogers said the injury was something that was always present, and it steadily worsened to where she was not able to play that season.
“Sitting out a year made me appreciate volleyball more,” Rogers said.
Rogers said her blocking and hitting have improved through the years because of increased physical strength and knowing her positions.
Personal highlights included All-Black Hills Conference honors this season along with being voted the Spartans’ Most Valuable Player.
“It’s a big opportunity for her, and we are going to work really hard to make it happen for her,” Rogers’ mother Katie said in describing the funding efforts.
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