Setting The Bar High


Photo by Ashley Chung

Peter Baugh and Noah Brown

When Ryan Fletcher was a freshman on the varsity volleyball team, it was hard for her to make her voice heard. 

“It was definitely hard as a freshman to tell these senior girls what I want them to run and how they should be hitting, so over the years I’ve really learned how to take charge, which is something that was really hard for me to do earlier on,” Fletcher said.

Now a senior, Fletcher has become a dominant player and was named one of the team captains.  Head coach Jackie Jaques, who was an assistant when Fletcher started high school, has noticed her development. 

“This year she has kind of come into her own,” she said. “She understands how to motivate people and they all really like her … She kind of has a totally different persona and the girls really enjoy working with her.”

Senior Lilian Heil has been a varsity teammate with Fletcher since her junior year and has enjoyed having Ryan as a teammate.

 “She is a great leader,” she said. “Everything she does is in the best interest of the team.”

Well liked off the court, Fletcher’s leadership skills are evident even while the game is being played. She is the team’s setter, which is the equivalent of the quarterback in football. She calls the plays for the team and runs the offense — a role which is generally fulfilled by one of the team’s strongest players.

Fletcher is not sure about her college future. She has received interest from college coaches and will evaluate her options when the time comes.

“If the opportunity presents itself I’ll definitely look into it,” she said. “I think it would be fun.”

Both Jaques and Fletcher are excited about the team this year. Clayton plays in both a tough district and conference and have a smaller team in terms of height, but Jaques confidently says her team is one of the best in Clayton’s recent memory.

“They are really strong and they work very well together,” Jaques said.

Fletcher agrees, as she believes the team makes up for their lack of size by being scrappy.

“Scrappy is being able to get to every ball,” she said. “Being really fast. We don’t have the height to kill a ball every time or get a block up every time so we have to cover each other and just we can’t give up on a single point.”

Fletcher also has a number of goals for the team and is determined to have a good season. She also wants to focus on bringing intensity to every game.

“Being unafraid, being aggressive even when the score is something that is a little scary,” Fletcher said. “Just fight through and have fun.”

Fletcher looks over the court in a varsity volleyball game. Photo by Ashley Chung.
Fletcher looks over the court in a varsity volleyball game. Photo by Ashley Chung.