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HomeTeam Hot Shots: River Ridge's Jessica Babcock, female winner for Aug. 23-29

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Tue. September 2, 2014 | Kelly Parsons

HomeTeam Hot Shots: River Ridge's Jessica Babcock, female winner for Aug. 23-29

Female Hot Shot of  the Week 

The River Ridge volleyball team might be young, but it hasn’t held the Royal Knights back so far. And senior captain Jessica Babcock is a main reason why. 

Since Babcock is just one of two seniors on an 11-person roster, coach Nicole Rossman holds the 5-foot-10 middle hitter to a higher standard. 

“She has to not only lead as a senior, but she has to lead because she’s a captain,” Rossman said. “Not everyone is going to have a perfect game all the time, but I expect from my captains, that when they’re in a funk, they keep their heads up.”

Working hard and seeing the results, though, is something on which Babcock prides herself.

Aside from her contributions on the volleyball court — Babcock recorded 54 kills, 15 service aces and 50 blocks last season — the senior owns a 4.5 grade-point average while taking four AP classes. 

“She still remembers one B that she got in elementary school,” Rossman said, “and it haunts her.”

Last year the Knights finished 8-13 and in the middle of the pack in a tough district. But with wins against Zephyrhills and Gulf, the Knights have already found early success. Babcock hopes it’s a sign of things to come. 

“I think it’s really just about being together as a team, no little ruffles in the feathers,” she said. “There’s definitely a new attitude, I’d say.”

Why she won: In matches against Zephyrhills and Gulf last week, Babcock totaled 15 kills, five blocks, 20 digs and nine service aces — 60 percent of her ace total from the entire 2013 season. She did all of this while making a total of just six errors. “She gives 150 percent,” Rossman said, “no matter what she does.”

Have an athlete who should be considered for our next voting cycle? Email hometeam@tampabay.com.

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