MUNSTER | Munster opens a volleyball game the same way: with Jamie Rogalski's serve.
"Her serve is very effective and just gives us a good start to every match, and every game in every match," Mustangs coach Tracy Afman said. "The fact that she can start off a game so poised and she doesn't get rattled in big games when it's tight or close, she's not one that I've ever had to worry is going to lose her cool because of adrenaline. She just stays in control at all times, and she helps keep the others united and in control."
Rogalski has notched 19 aces in the postseason as Munster won its first regional title since 1996 and plays Westfield about 11:30 a.m. today in the second game of the Huntington North Semistate.
"I like to set the tone because especially when we get a big lead that helps us, and teams don't know what to expect at first, and that sets the tone well," Rogalski said. "My serve floats so much, and someone can be in a position, and then it will float, and then they'll end up flanking it or missing it."
The senior Rogalski has shared setting duties this season, and has racked up 49 assists through four games in the postseason. Her 23 assists in five games against Valparaiso helped pace Munster to the regional championship.
Munster has a stable of effective offensive weapons, looking to Rogalski and teammate Morgan Switalla, with whom the senior shares the setting duties, to make all of those hitters work.
"She has so many options, but the thing for her is to figure out who is the hot hitter that night, and she's always thinking about setting the smart play, where the blocker's at, just higher-level setting skills," Afman said. "She's very strategic, too, she'll make up places to throw the ball over the net that I haven't even told her to.
"It's harder because you don't know who to set, but it's easier, too, because other teams don't know who the ball is going to and on which side, and that really helps because they don't know who to block," Rogalski said. "It definitely helps us because a lot of teams set just one person, and it's helped us get a lot further."
Rogalski also has been effective in the back row, finding a groove with her defense that adds a level to what she can do as a setter, Afman said. Rogalski is hoping to continue her career in college, looking at Division III schools, but hasn't picked one, yet.
"It's nice not to worry about whether or not she's going to play defense first, that's a common problem with setters that they like to transition too quickly," Afman said. "It's nice to just know that she's going to get to almost every ball, and I don't have to worry about the ball dropping or a non-setter setting as often."