The last 2 days have featured freshman that will be fresh at Purdue this Fall, but today we shift our focus back to the veterans and today's feature on Redshirt Junior Catherine Rebarchak. I am going to make this short as I am tired after a full day of RA Training (Resident Assistant), as I am pulling this off with just 45 minutes to spare.
Catherine Rebarchak: Red shirt Junior
Hometown: Mobile, AL (St. Paul's Episcopal)
2012 Projection: Main Rotation/Starter
After a year with a red shirt, Rebarchak stepped onto the floor and made an immediate impact in 2010. She earned All-Big Ten Freshmen selection with 2.19 kills per set (4th most on team), with 11 double digit kills, and led the team three times (both Penn State matches and against Iowa).
But in 2011, Rebarchak's number did drop, down to 1.77 kills per set, with only 8 double digit kills. Part of this was due to Turner's hot hand as well. Though she did serve up 15 aces (5th on the team), she also recorded 47 service errors, the highest of returning players (Tiffany Fisher had the most with 53). These numbers aren't surprising for those who have seen Rebarchak serve, as she hits the ball hard, but you can live and die by your serve. When she does get a successful serve, it is rather difficult for the opponent and can lead to an ace or a hitting error. However, her strong serves have little room for error, hit it a tad bit too hard, and the ball will go out of bounds, hit it a tad bit too soft, and the ball will hit the next.
When I went with the Block Party to Columbus last season, Rebarchak committed 3 service errors in a row, and just as she was about to serve again, Coach Shondell pulled her our and replaced her with Amanda Miller (who would be key in winning the sweep over the Buckeyes). Though Shondell respects Rebarchak's talents, I am sure that Cat knows that Shondell can pull her out of the starting rotation if her performance begins to lack again. In my complete interview with Coach Shondell, he mentioned how Rebarchak would take "nights off" and said that if she "wants to own that spot (and not lose it to a freshman like Annie Drews), she is not going to be able to take nights off."
I think Rebarchak has what it takes to be a starter for Purdue, and she has proved that the last 2 seasons. But, she cannot take nights off with eager freshmen ready to step up and even lose their red shirt. I hope she improves her serves and has less errors and more aces, but also increase her kills and blocking to become a true leader for the team.