Creekers' leaderspeaks by example

Robyn Hench is the strong, silent type.

The Tates Creek junior is slight in size but strong on fundamentals and has been an important (although often quiet) leader for the Commodores this season.

When she has a kill, she smiles and claps hands with teammates.

She doesn't yell or scream. She doesn't get too high or too low.

"I'm kind of shy," Hench said. "I just try to play my best."

Her best was good enough to help the host Commodores win their seventh straight Thursday night, topping Bryan Station in two sets 25-18, 25-17.

"It doesn't always look like Robyn's leading out there, but she always is," Coach Megan Filburn said. "She leads by example, and all of her teammates trust her, and they all look to her."

Hench, who had 10 kills and an ace via a wicked jump serve, is just one of several Commodores who are capable of playing any and all positions on the floor.

In the first game, she had five kills, including the team's first three. Filburn switched up her rotation in the second game and moved Hench to her favorite position as setter.

Being able to move Hench around makes Filburn's job easier, she said.

"She is very eager to be coached even though she's already so knowledgeable about the game," Filburn said. "She sees the floor really, really well. ... She's able to point out things on the court to her teammates."

Hench is the first to point out that she's not the only versatile one on the team.

"Other people like Allie Campbell and Abi Wheeler are like that, too," she said. "They can pass, they can set, they can do a lot of things well, and that makes us better as a team."

That versatility has been the key to the Commodores' recent win streak.

"I'm having a really fun year with them because I can run a lot of different lineups," Filburn said. "The flexibility with this group is really nice."

In the first game, Creek took a commanding 14-5 lead before a series of errors allowed the Defenders to get back in the game and pull within four points before the Commodores righted themselves to win 25-18.

Attacking and defensive errors were a problem for Creek midway through the second game before it broke open a close 17-14 game with an 8-3 run to end it.

Senior captain Sara Trout's four kills and one block all came in the final eight points of the match.

Jessica Miller had a game-high four aces for the Commodores. Wheeler added four kills and three aces.

"Abi Wheeler has become such an asset to the team," Filburn said. "Both Abi and Robyn aren't necessarily the most vocal, but they are true leaders and their teammates look up to them."

At Tates Creek

Tates Creek def. Bryan Station 25-18, 25-17.

Records—Bryan Station 12-10, Tates Creek 13-12.