VESTAL, N.Y. (WBNG) – When the Vestal volleyball team takes the court, there’s one voice that never stops. It’s that of junior outside hitter Aubrey Baker.
“I just say everything I was taught to say while playing. So say where the setter is, stuff like that. And then I also try to cheer up my teammates. Tell them if they did something good. Tell them they got the next one if they mess up and stuff. I also tell them if it’s my bad or not because sometimes that’s the case,” said Baker.
Aubrey doesn’t make too many mistakes though, as she leads the Golden Bears in kills, making her a focal point of their offense.
Her communication makes it easy for her teammates to get her involved.
“Especially as a setter, I need to be hearing her. I need to be hearing her talking to me and she always is. That girl’s mouth is running and I love it because I always know that I have her,” said Vestal senior setter Corrina Paler-Large.
“I’m only as good as the players that I’m with. So when the girls around me, like when our defense is really passing well, I can hit well. When the setters are one, I’m on,” said Baker.
After winning sectionals last season, the Golden Bears have kept it up this year, going 10-3 this regular season and winning the STAC Metro Division.
But it hasn’t been easy. The team has had several key contributors miss time with injuries, leaving Aubrey as one of the only constants in the lineup, a role she’s embraced.
“One of those people stepping up has been Aubrey. [She] has had a really strong year for us. It really makes a difference when you have a go-to player that can get that side out and get that point when you need it,” said Vestal head coach Joe Nemecek.
Vestal is now preparing for the postseason. They’re in the final four for the STAC playoffs and sectionals begin next week, making it a high-pressure moment. But the Golden Bears have already proved just how resilient they are.
“We’re really positive about it because we know it’s not the end of the world and we know we can face all of the adversity because we’ve done it before,” said Baker.
That successful track record, brings some expectations in the playoffs which is fine for Aubrey and Vestal. They’ll just let the results speak for themselves.
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