Vogel is Clearwater’s do-everything leader
Put Clearwater senior Bryna Vogel on a volleyball court and all attention zooms to the redhead who can do it all. She snatches the focus because she’s a standout server, passer and hitter.
“Her swing and her timing, she’s had it since Day 1,” Clearwater coach Trista Bailey said. “She’s able to jump out of the gym and she’s long, able to reach anything, whether it’s a good set, bad set. And she can put it down.”
The attention on Vogel intensified during her junior season when she made an oral commitment to play at Kansas State and was named to The Eagle’s All-Metro volleyball and softball teams.
But the spotlight is uncomfortable for Vogel. Anonymity is preferred.
“I’ve been close friends with Bryna since my freshman year, and it took me a while, but we finally got close enough where she felt she could talk to me,” senior Victoria Worden said. “Around our friends she’s definitely more outgoing, but it’s just her personality. The way she is. I think sometimes people think she’s coming off as rude.”
Vogel was a sophomore when Bailey was hired as Clearwater’s coach. Bailey said it was at least two weeks into practice before she heard the star player speak.
“It’s amazing her teammates know she’ll get the ball, because she’d rarely call for it,” Bailey said. “I remember an open gym this summer. I was on the opposite court and I heard Bryna say something. I stopped everything in the gym and said, ‘Holy cow, did Bryna say something?’”
The attention on Vogel’s quiet nature can be unsettling, but she knows she needs to speak more because she must be a leader on the court.
Bailey talked to her about communicating more last season, but it’s even more vital now.
“Between last year and this year, I’ve heard it quite a bit,” Vogel said. “Also, (Kansas State coach) Suzie (Fritz) has also told me that.
“It gets hard sometimes, but after watching high-level college volleyball, I see how much they talk, so I know I need to talk a little better.”
Bailey has already seen improvement.
“Really, it’s a complete transformation,” she said. “‘Hey, maybe people do want to hear what I say.’ I think most of the time they are in awe of Bryna. She’s usually the first person to help an underclassmen out, to make sure people are where they are supposed to be.
“I don’t think she quite realizes yet the impact she can have on other players.… She doesn’t have to say a heck of a lot. When she does, they are all ears, eager for direction or confirmation.”
Vogel is so dominant that she impacts every drill Clearwater does. It can be a problem, though, because sometimes the team sits back and watches her performance.
Other times they take Vogel, who gets about 60 percent of Clearwater’s sets in a match, for granted.
“Sometimes they get used to seeing it in practice and have to remember, ‘Hey, what she did is amazing.’” Bailey said. “She’s Bryna being Bryna. The impact on the team is undeniable. We revolve around everything she does. She makes plays that are unbelievable, day in and day out.”