Van Driel leads the way for new-look Rose Hill team

Published: Aug. 22, 2018 at 9:59 PM CDT
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As the 2018 KSHSAA Volleyball season starts, it's a no-brainer to rank Rose Hill #1 in class 4A. The Rockets likely have the top player in the class, as well.

"Volleyball means everything to her and it just emits out of her," head coach Cherith Mock said of her star senior.

A self-described control freak, Gracie Van Driel controlled her future from the moment she stepped on a high school court. She took her first college visit at age 14, and verbally committed to Kansas during her sophomore year in 2016. While a giant weight was lifted off her shoulders, she said a giant target was also drawn on her back.

"It makes people aware of who you are more so you have to be aware of where you're hitting," she said. "Everyone wants to block you, everyone's out for you."

So it's a good thing she's capable of carrying out any play Coach Mock calls.

"She can visualize everything so well that she can do anything I ask," Mock said.

Mock is in her first year with the Rose Hill program, after assisting the volleyball team in Augusta for five years. She also assisted the Rose Hill girl's basketball team last season in her first year with the district. She walks into a team that has won back to back state championships, and knows there is pressure to succeed.

"I'm a very competitive person, so it was a super easy decision," she said. "I have a big background in sports, so I'm super excited about it."

Mock now has the opportunity to help Van Driel secure her legacy with a three-peat in her final year with the Rockets.

"I want to go out with another State championship with my best friends," Van Driel said. "I want them to remember me as someone who left it all out on the court. Not as someone who's just out there to be out there to look good or care what people think. I really don't. I care about how the team does."

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