By Kay Braddock
Five years ago the Terry High School volleyball team ended their season in a familiar fashion. As a sophomore player for the team in 2004, it’s a memory 20-year-old head coach Jasmine Freiboth recently shared with her players before this year’s trip to the All-Class State Tournament in Bozeman.
“I’ve been there,” Freiboth recalled telling her players, “and I hope you realize that all these memories, whether we go up there and do great, whether we go up there and get first or last, it’s just the experience that is going to be awesome.”
But in both trips, 2004 and this year, Freiboth noted the Lady Terriers opted not to settle for just the experience.
Although the Terriers ended a “smidge short” of a trophy finish, a hard-fought win against long-standing rival team, the Circle Wildcats, sweetened both journeys.
“We sent them home at state,” Freiboth said, recalling the Terriers 2004 experience. “(It was) the exact same scenario. We got fourth. They got fifth.”
It was the last time Terry’s volleyball team beat the Wildcats.
The fact that Jasmine Freiboth was able to be a part of this year’s “big memory” with her younger sister, senior player Jordan Freiboth, has made the experience, she says, all the better.
“(It’s) a really good feeling to be able to share this with someone you really care about,” Jasmine Freiboth said.
This season completes her third year coaching Terry’s volleyball team. She began coaching as an 18-year-old - when sister Jordan was a sophomore player - coaching girls she had just a year earlier played with as teammates.
Both girls agree the first year was the roughest.
“I swore I’d never talk to her again,” Jordan Freiboth said. But by her senior year her feelings had changed.
“The respect factor was really there this year,” Jordan shared, pointing to her sister’s ability to push her beyond her own expectations. “I realized I can pass the ball and go for the ball and I can be an all around decent player if I put my mind to it, and (Jasmine) made me realize that.”
Jasmine Freiboth has juggled the duties of coaching along with her studies at Miles Community College and work. She noted the support of assistant coach Jody Haidle helped her through some difficult moments.
“Player confrontation is inevitable,” Jasmine pointed out, “(Jody) was always there to back me up.”
Freiboth also pointed to the influence of former head coach Brooke Gierke, noting although their style of coaching may differ, her regimen is the same as those of Gierke’s, who coached Jasmine through her high school years.
“It really meant a lot to me to have her there,” Jasmine said of Gierke’s attendance at the games.
Both girls agree the success of this year’s team can be attributed to the team’s singleminded focus and “no drama” attitude. This season’s fourth place finish for the Terriers put a finishing touch to a time the sisters look forward to recalling in years to come.
“Volleyball gave us a common ground,” Jasmine shared, “ to share something together.”
Published Nov. 25, 2009