Schreiber emerges as front-row weapon for Collinsville
October 24, 2012By Chris Kusnerick of Collinsville High School
Cathy Schreiber has found her comfort zone on the volleyball court - and Collinsville's opponents are paying the price.
A 6-foot-3 junior middle hitter, Schreiber has been a standout for the Kahoks, who were 20-9 heading into Tuesday's semifinal match against Southwestern Conference rival Belleville West (19-16) in the Class 4A O'Fallon Regional. The championship match is 6 p.m. Thursday.
"I've seen Cathy grow a lot as a player," Collinsville coach Tracy Plagemann said. "She was kind of the baby on the team last year and I think she deferred to the older players.
"This year she's stepped up and I think she realizes the girls are counting on her more. She's growing into somebody that the team counts on for big kills and big plays. She likes to compete and she doesn't like to lose and that's showing in her play this year."
Collinsville was 5-2 in the SWC, placing third behind Edwardsville (7-0) and O'Fallon (6-1).
"I'm very satisfied with what we've done this season - we've done what we expected we would do," Schreiber said. "We all get along well together on and off the court, so that helps a lot."
Schreiber started volleyball in seventh grade at Collinsville Middle School.
"My best friend, (junior setter) Sabrina (Flohr) moved to town and she got me into it," Schreiber said. "I played club my freshman year and after that I fell in love with it."
Playing for Southwest Illinois Volleyball Club has done wonders for Schreiber's overall game.
"After my freshman year, I jumped up to a whole new level," Schreiber said. "The level of competition is a lot higher than it is in high school and you're with a selection of people, so it's a lot of fun."
Flohr is one of Scheiber's teammates on Southwest, but nearly every Collinsville player competes for a club team.
"Having everyone play for different teams is cool too because everyone brings a lot of different things back to the home court (at Collinsville)," Schreiber said.
This is Schreiber's second varsity season.
"I'm a lot more confident being an upperclassman and one of the older kids on the team this year," Schreiber said. "We have a lot of experience on this team and I think it shows."
After playing right side hitter as sophomore, Schreiber moved to the middle this season.
"There's a lot more movement in the middle, but I like it a lot more than the right side," Schreiber said. "You get a lot more swings on the ball. The middle has been my primary position over the years, so I feel a lot more comfortable there.
"I''ve started swinging a lot harder and being up there and blocking is a big thing too. I have a lot more strength."
Schreiber also played basketball as a freshman, but now she concentrates on volleyball, which she hopes to play in college.
"I've been looking at a few schools and talking to them," Schreiber said. "I want to work on my back row defense. A lot of times the swings are a lot harder in college, so I also need to improve my blocking."