GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

T.F. North relies on Bianca Ruiz's strong hands

2012-10-10T18:15:00Z 2013-04-01T21:55:06Z T.F. North relies on Bianca Ruiz's strong handsAllison Buell Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 10, 2012 6:15 pm  • 

When Bianca Ruiz was a freshman, she played on the freshman "B" volleyball team.

The T.F. North athlete had enough talent to play on the sophomore team, maybe even varsity.

"She wasn't committed to the program," Meteors coach Peg Haney said. "She needed to make better choices. She had a lot of growing up to do."

Ruiz made the turnaround her coach was hoping for.

"She is unbelievable," said Haney. "She has come a long way. She's always had the skills. She's an athlete, but I'm proud of how she's developed into a total person."

Ruiz is the starting setter for North and one of five seniors on the squad that is having a .500 season. But wins and losses don't define this team.

"We're improving," Haney said. "We're playing better as a team. I want the girls to have fun, also. I want them to enjoy their high school experience."

This week is North's Homecoming, so the girls have a powder puff football game on Thursday, in addition to a big match against rival T.F. South.

"We lost to them last year, but we're better than last year," Ruiz said. "I believe in my team. We need to stay strong and keep our attitudes off the court, like coach says, and work as a team."

Playing setter has helped Ruiz develop into a team leader.

"She's a good athlete and she senses when things need to take place," Haney said. "It's that sense you can't teach a player. She has that instinct and ability to make a difference in a game."

The Meteors run a 5-1 offense with Ruiz at the helm. She's a 90 percent server with 19 aces and has accurately set 97 percent of balls with 203 assists.

"She's really calm under pressure," Haney said, "and that comes from how versatile she is and from the other sports she plays."

Ruiz also plays goalie in soccer, the post in basketball and has also caught for the softball team.

"She's in a decision-making role in all her sports," Haney said. "Sure, she makes some mistakes, but her decisions are game changers."

Ruiz began her sports career at age 2 when she started playing soccer to be like her brother. She loves all sports.

"I've had some rough times growing up," Ruiz said, "but sports have helped me take out my anger, instead of taking it out on other people."

Ruiz also welcomes the challenge of being a setter and goalie.

"Setting helps me be a better goalie and being a goalie helps me be a better setter," she said. "I work with my hands a lot. I have to have strong hands. I'm blessed with these hands."

She wants to major in criminology or business and is looking at the University of Iowa and Purdue University. She knows sports will always be a part of her life.

"Sports is my first love," she said. "It keeps me up. I don't know where I'd be now without it. Sports have helped me out a lot and I'll never give up on it."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best boys cross country team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News