Every good team has worthy leaders. The separating point is how responsible the leader is for the team’s success.
Kiley Rosengrant, the Register Citizen’s area MVP for girls volleyball, radiates enthusiasm for the sport and her team catches it.
“Volleyball has been my whole life,” she says from a life devoted to sports and schoolwork.
It shows on the court.
“Kiley is by far our most consistent and well-rounded volleyball player,” said Torrington High School coach Christine Gamari, a Torrington High School volleyball legend herself before playing at Division I Holy Cross (Worcester, Massachusetts).
Enthusiasm and personal leadership are a start. Rosengrant, a setter, shows the way all over the court.
“She plays terrific, disciplined defense in the right back,” Gamari begins. “She is a tremendous hustler and shows a willingness to hit the floor that goes unmatched by most of her other teammates. Her quickness allows her to fix a lot of broken pays for us. Kiley led our team in service attempts and aces this season.”
This year’s Red Raiders had one All-NVL selection, (libero Shelby Consolini) and one other All-Copper-Division selection (middle hitter Carly Ruzbasan) besides three-time All-Copper selection Rosengrant. Not what one would expect of the league’s second-place team, but a shining tribute to teamwork without huge stars.
Game after game, Rosengrant steered the team on the court, leading them to a 17-3 season record and the NVL Tournament finals.
“I am very, very competitive,” she smiles. “I have two very athletic older brothers (Matt and Jesse). I competed with them for everything, including a seat at the dinner table.”
Rosengrant is a year-round volleyball player expecting to play in college, but the athleticism that helped her lead the Raiders has many roots.
“Both my parents played volleyball. They got us into the whole sports thing and it just runs in our blood,” she says.
Rosengrant has competed in sports since she was three. She played soccer for 10 years, gymnastics for seven. Along the way, she’s played baseball, softball, basketball track and diving. She still plays varsity tennis for Torrington.
“Athletics are a center for my life,” she says, keeping a healthy respect for academics as well.
“School’s always been very important to me,” says the honors and high honors student. “My parents have always held me to high standards.”
Dad Scott coached girls volleyball at Northwestern for seven, along with youth soccer.
A deep grasp of the game shines through Rosengrant’s leadership.
“Kiley understands the philosophy that she is a defender first and a setter second, as she is second on our team in digs,” said Coach Gamari. “This season she has become a much smarter setter and moves the ball within our offensive system, not simply relying on our outside hitters to produce offense. She also used her experience as an opposite hitter to help us generate offense.”
Rosengrant made the All-NVL Tournament team this year.
Among a host of worthy girl’s volleyball candidates in the area, she stands out as our MVP.