Volleyball optimistic about Orr

Gabrielle Orr came into the Iowa program a semester early and is now making a big impact for her team though her presence on the court and the way she has adapted into her leadership role.

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Volleyball optimistic about Orr

Iowa's Gabrielle Orr serves during the volleyball Black & Gold scrimmage in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.  (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Gabrielle Orr serves during the volleyball Black & Gold scrimmage in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa's Gabrielle Orr serves during the volleyball Black & Gold scrimmage in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa's Gabrielle Orr serves during the volleyball Black & Gold scrimmage in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

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Freshman setter Gabrielle Orr has fit right in with the Iowa volleyball team with both her strong work ethic and the way her personality comes out both on and off the court.

Orr graduated a semester early from Eagan High School in Minnesota to get a head start on her college volleyball career. That decision came with the goal in mind: She would be ready for the regular season and get a grasp of all that comes with being a student-athlete.

“Going through spring season and getting the training, everything helped a lot just to get a heads-up on being a freshman,” she said.

Head coach Bond Shymansky agreed with Orr; coming in early helped her acclimate to both school life as well as being a part of the team and working every day to grow into her role as the starting setter.

“There’s a lot of information and a lot of responsibility for a setter; you don’t get to take plays off,” Shymansky said. “There’s never really a time where a play doesn’t go through your hands — she’s in charge of any play as we go through in a rally, so she’s really developing and learning a lot.”

The Long Beach State match on Aug. 26 showcased Orr’s versatility and put a spotlight on the impact that she could have for the rest of the season.

In the first set against Long Beach, Orr recorded back-to-back kills to seal the victory for her team.

“During Long Beach, she was very offensive and kind of picked it up for the whole team, so instead of having just two hitters when she’s front row, she became an offensive player herself,” senior middle blocker Kelsey O’Neill said. “Taking on roles like that, she is proving how big of a leader she can be on the court, off the court, just all in general.”

The budding offense can be attributed to Orr’s starting every set out in California.

She grew throughout the weekend, and by the third match, she was in a rhythm with her teammates.

Shymansky expects Orr to have a lasting impact on the rotation throughout her college career, noting that patience comes because she will be on the court all four years.

“We expect Brie will get smarter, she’ll continue to grow her volleyball IQ,” Shymansky said. “She’ll start to have a bigger command of the game in rally situations and really learn how to kind of toy with her opponent as a setter, and learn where to put the ball to have the best hitting opportunity that we can.”

Iowa’s team this year is lighthearted and goofy, and Orr is no exception to that.

She’s known to lighten up the mood when needed, but when it’s time to be serious, she also pushes the rest of the players to get the job done.

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