For Bella Rubino, volleyball is her passion and also the activity that has allowed her to grow the most as a person. This past spring, as Anne Arundel County gave fall sports an abbreviated season due to the pandemic canceling all sports in fall 2020, Rubino began to take on more of a leadership role. And that role has morphed into being a team captain as a junior for a Broadneck team looking to succeed this year.
“It’s very important that I have my teammates’ trust, and if they can trust me, I can trust them and that doesn’t mean just on the court but off the court as well,” said Rubino. “I’m very ‘lead by example,’ very ‘team before me.’ Like, ‘What can I do to make you better? How can I help you?’ It’s really exciting and really important to me to have this role and so that I can be there to support my teammates.”
So far, Rubino has done just that, helping lead Broadneck to two straight shutout wins over Meade and Severna Park to start the season. And she believes that Broadneck can go much further this season, especially with the team being able to play more games compared to the five games the team played this past spring.
“As a player and as a team, I really want to go to states, because I think we can do it,” she stated. “But beyond that, as a leader, I definitely want us to grow as a team. It’s very important to me that we are all bonded, we’re all best friends. I want everyone to just reach a new level of playing that they haven’t before.”
Rubino’s leadership became clear when she said she most wanted a great season so that the sophomores who were freshmen during the shortened season get to experience fun and success on the court like she has experienced.
Due to that shortened spring season that Anne Arundel County gave fall sports earlier this year, Rubino was challenged in a way she wasn’t expecting. While she was a part of the Broadneck team, she also played club volleyball, competing alongside many players she would otherwise face during the high school season. Rubino welcomed and thrived with that challenge.
“Flipping back and forth between two different teams was very mentally challenging, but I think it helped me grow as a player and as a leader,” she said. “Because when you do have to flip back and forth, lead this team, switch your brain around and then lead the other team, it helps you adapt to certain situations that I probably would have never been able to deal with if it weren’t for the pandemic.”
Rubino was happy to see all of her hard working paying off and being recognized for it. “I do try really hard in practices and games, off the court and on the court, to be there for my teammates and to see that be recognized is really important and really fun,” she said.
In partnership with The Matt Wyble Team of Century 21, the Voice’s Student-Athlete of the Month series recognizes the many student-athletes in our area who make an impact not necessarily by way of statistics or stardom, but by their unique contributions. Contact Zach Sparks at email@example.com to nominate a young person in our community making a positive impact through sports.
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