Greenbrier High School’s Gabbi Meyering played a different type of volleyball this summer preparing for her senior season and her future.
After playing high school and then club volleyball until June, Meyering took to the sand during the summer to play beach volleyball.
“You just choose a partner and enter tournaments, that’s kind of how it works,” said Meyering, who played in Hilton Head, S.C., and in Florida.
She found that both types of volleyball have a working relationship with each other.
“You have to have really good endurance, you have to be fast,” said Meyering of beach volleyball, adding that she liked getting to play all the positions. “It is so much more physically demanding to play than indoor and you play in the sand. And then you jump on the court, your vertical is now a few inches higher because you’ve been working on the sand. It’s completely different, but you’re still playing volleyball. I think indoor helps outdoor and then outdoor helps indoor.”
Head coach Debbie Born thrust more responsibility on Meyering, naming the team’s lone senior and one of three returners the team captain before the season started.
“She’s a game-changer and she’s passionate about the sport,” said Born. “She understands the way we work, so it’s her turn to shine on.”
The passion for the sport has been building since she first started playing volleyball in sixth grade, setting aside the sport she originally thought was the one.
“I used to be a really big soccer player,” Meyering said. “I wanted to play soccer in college.”
Since playing volleyball, that dream has changed.
“I would really like to play beach volleyball in college,” Meyering said. “I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but there’s a lot of new programs that have beach volleyball. It’s a women’s varsity sport now.”
Coach Born thinks she has the chops to make it at the next level.
“She’s all into the beach thing, so wherever we can get her, we’ll get her,” Born said. “She’s an outside hitter but she’s getting looks from coaches as a libero. Her passing has come a long way.”
While her skill-set has improved, the realization that volleyball was it came early on in high school.
“I’ve always just been kind of playing for fun, but then my sophomore year I was like this is what I want to do,” Meyering said.
She did return to her roots her junior year, playing goalie for the Lady Wolfpack’s soccer team.
“It’s fun to play something else,” she said. “That’s why I started again last year because I was always doing volleyball, I never did anything but volleyball. You kind of get tired of it, but I didn’t want to get tired of it so I played soccer to balance out fun.”
She’s not sure exactly what the future may hold, but adventure is sure to have a role in her life.
“I just want to live in different countries,” said Meyering, who was born in Arizona and has lived in Germany and Virginia. “I don’t want to stay in Georgia. I want to go somewhere completely different. I don’t like being in the same spot for a long time.”