Burger King Outstanding Student Athlete: Niles' Bella Rasler
On Thursday night the Niles volleyball team plays in the regional final for the first time in program history.
In the video above, WSBT 22's Olivia Ray takes a closer look at Bella Rasler, the senior hitter who led them there.
"When you think of Bella, you think she smashes every ball," said fellow senior Bre Love.
Head Coach Jenny Nate said she adds an energy to the court. She said, "The girls look to her as a leader. She is a leader offensively and defensively. She's kind of the game changer for our team. If we get stuck in a rotation, the ball is more than likely going to go to Bella. She's really brought some of our younger girls into the mix, where she makes them believe."
"State. That's our goal. We give a hundred percent every play, stay focused, don't get mad at each other, put the ball down," said senior Bella Rasler.
The outside hitter leads her team with nearly 700 kills, 70 blocks, and 33 aces this season.
Rasler added, "Everyday I work as hard as I can, because I want to be the best that I can be. Our goal, since freshmen year, was to make it this far. And we haven't yet, so this is our year."
For the first time in school history, Niles has won both a conference and division championship, and this week they began their journey to a regional crown.
Nate reflects on Tuesday's Regional Semifinal saying, "She was on a mission. Super driven, and she said. 'I am putting the ball down. I said to all the girls, hey we've got to make sure we transition back, everybody's got to be ready to hit. And she looked up and said 'I'm ready to hit. I'm ready.' And she came out just pounding the ball."
Rasler will continue her impressive career at Grand Valley State next year.
"She's gotten stronger every year, smarter every year. And I want to see Bella go to college, excel and win and be out on that court. And then I want to see her go after her dreams," said Nate.