Eagles’ Rachel Roeder named volleyball player of the year
February 22, 2011
By Laura Geggel
Standing tall at 6-foot-1, Issaquah High School’s Rachel Roeder is a formidable foe on the volleyball court.
The outside hitter has a recorded 469 kills, 252 digs, 67 service aces and 28 blocks this past season while posting a kill percentage of .449; enough to attract the attention of Gatorade in its search for Washington Volleyball Player of the Year.
Gatorade has honored high school athletes since 1985, and announced Roeder’s award in collaboration with ESPN RISE.
The award recognizes Roeder for her outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court.
At Issaquah High School, Roeder has earned a B average and volunteers as a youth coach, and as an assistant with the Issaquah High School Sports Medicine Program. In her free time, she volunteers at Rotary First Harvest, a food bank in Kent.
The ace player began playing volleyball in seventh grade.
“I was just one of those kids who played every sport,” Roeder said.
As for volleyball, “it just stuck with me,” she said.
With volleyball, she could play with a team yet play different positions, including serving or playing defense. For her, the Issaquah High varsity volleyball team is family. Six of its players, including Roeder, stayed on the team all four years. Roeder personally accepts new varsity players into the fold.
“She just motivates me so much and she pushes me to my limits so I do better every day,” sophomore Nina Moore said. “That’s my goal. I hope I can be like her when I’m an upperclassman.”
Every year since Roeder’s freshman year, the Issaquah High volleyball team has made it further in the state competition. Freshman year, the team was one away from state; sophomore year, they made it to state but didn’t place; junior year, the girls placed fifth in state and this year they placed second in the Class 4A state final, with Roeder earning the titles of KingCo Class 4A Most Valuable Player and making The Seattle Times Star-Times Team.
She is Issaquah’s career leader with 1,127 kills, second with 263 service aces and third with 1,068 digs.
With each season, “we always say it’s been like a journey,” Roeder said.
Roeder’s grandmother, Carol Anne Weaver, has cheered at her granddaughter’s games from the bleachers.
“It’s exhausting, it’s exciting,” she said. “Especially how she has handled adversity in the last four years because you don’t win them all.”
Roeder plans to attend Western Washington University this fall, where she will play volleyball.
The Gatorade Player of the Year Program recognizes students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that sanction the following sports: high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field. Gatorade awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.