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Q2 AOW: 'Goofy-footed' Nikki Roberts has Bridger eyeing state volleyball berth

Nikki Roberts Bridger.png
Posted at 6:54 AM, Nov 02, 2023

You may notice when Bridger’s Nikki Roberts gets up to spike the volleyball, it looks a little unorthodox.

"We call it goofy-footed," Bridger head coach Lena Kallevig said. "The reason is she's actually left-handed but she plays right-handed. Her brain is backwards, but she's made it work for her."

"It's always been a thing ever since I was little. In sports they'd always tell me to go with my left hand, but it never worked out very well," Roberts said. "So I tried that, then after a while it was Hail Mary, hit with my right hand and it was magic."

Roberts does the finite motions, such as eating, writing and drawing with her left hand. She’s even ambidextrous on the basketball floor to an extent, but it’s clear the power lies in her right arm.

“Actually shooting a basketball I'm better with my left hand close range, but once I get out there I have to us my right hand. Then hitting is right-handed. It's very weird," Roberts said.

Roberts is one of just three seniors on this year’s Bridger-Belfry co-op, as the Scouts seek their seventh consecutive state tournament appearance. While players and coaches agree it’s a more well-rounded team than the star-studded ones of the past, Bridger is playing quite a few young girls in the rotation and it's been a season-long process to improve.

“We had to work really hard in the beginning because some of us hadn't played together. We'd played together for AAU, but there were a couple of new girls and the Belfry girls who hadn't played with us yet," said senior Seannah Schwend. "We don't just have one person doing it all this year, two people. We all have to pull our weight."

As for what another appearance at the state tournament would mean to this group?

“Really significant to me. Freshman year going up (to Malta) and supporting everyone, and then taking a trip as a team member and really carrying those younger girls with us and showing them what it means to be a state competitor would be really great," Roberts said.

Bridger gets its quest started at the Southern C divisional tournament on Thursday at 10 a.m. against Grass Range-Winnett.