The East County Observer and Bogey’s Restaurant and Sports Pub have teamed up to showcase the East County’s top athletes. Each recipient’s article will be featured on the restaurant’s wall.
Braden River High senior Regina Aluise isn’t your typical quarterback.
She doesn’t don a helmet and shoulder pads or spend her Friday nights marching her team up and down the field. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t carry the entire weight of her team on her shoulders.
As Braden River’s lone setter, Aluise is charged with the task of calling all of the Lady Pirates’ patterns and plays, controlling the floor and managing the team’s presence on court. It’s a job that Aluise doesn’t take lightly.
“I’m very competitive, so it helps being a setter — I’m just one of those types of people,” Aluise said. “The hardest part is remaining calm when I get frustrated on the court because I’m like the quarterback. I run everything and I’m the leader on the court.”
Aluise had little to be frustrated about this past week after playing two of the best games of her high school career. She had 39 setting assists, four kills and 10 service points, leading the Lady Pirates to back-to-back victories over Sarasota Aug. 26 and Riverview Aug. 27.
“I felt really good on the floor, and I worked really well with the hitters,” she said. “I was nervous about how that was going to work out because we have a lot of new hitters, but I was able to connect with (them) and I think that’s what made it successful.”
Aluise started playing club volleyball when she was in seventh grade. She first tried her hand at setting while trying out for the Lady Pirates and before she knew it Aluise was named their starting setter.
“I learned how to set my whole freshman season,” Aluise said. “I had no setting experience before then.”
After leading Braden River to the regional tournament for the first time last season, Aluise now hopes to close her high school career with a district title.