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Bain a leader for Cavaliers on and off the court

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Camryn Bain digs out a serve during a match against Tiospa Zina last season at the Aberdeen Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 9/1/2022

Camryn Bain’s athletic journey has many facets to it.

The Aberdeen Roncalli senior began playing volleyball in elementary school and has enjoyed the sport ever since.

“I first started playing (YMCA) volleyball back in elementary school, and I loved it back then, so then I played it in middle school, and then in high school is where I got really into it,” Bain said.

“That’s where my love of the sport grew a lot.”

Bain’s love for the sport of volleyball, as well as basketball, also grew thanks to her mother, Amanda (Mikuska) Bain, who was a standout basketball player at Northern State. Bain was also a member of the Platte Black Panthers 1994 Class A basketball championship, and Camryn says her mother was involved in the start of her athletic career.

“She helped start our traveling team for my grade when we were in second grade,” Bain said. “She coached with one of her friends and we played traveling basketball from second grade up until sixth grade. She’s always been involved. She’s really good at trying to help with stuff and getting us in the gym.”

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Camryn Bain, center, moves the ball up the floor ahead of Miller’s Morgan Kolda, far left as the Rustlers’ Abigail Blake, far right, gets back on defense during a game last season at the Roncalli High School gym. In the background for the Cavaliers is Ava Hanson. Photo by John Davis taken 2/7/2023

While her athletic career took off in grade school, it recently came to a halt in January when she suffered a foot injury. Bain has been in and out of a boot since then, as well as being in a cast over summer, which severely limited her opportunities to continue to participate in summer activities. Bain said it was hard not being able to participate in those activities.

“I was on a traveling volleyball team and we went to Florida, and I was in a cast for that,” Bain said. “So that was really hard to watch because I really wanted to play, but it was really nice watching my team play. I didn’t get to do anything during the summer, like open gyms or anything, so it was rough.”

Bain was eventually able to return to the court about a week before the volleyball season began, which resulted in jubilation for the senior Roncalli athlete.

“It felt so good. My foot still isn’t better, but we’re kind of just playing through it since it’s my senior season,” Bain said. “It’s kind of a relief to finally get to be out there and play with my teammates and help us win.”

Roncalli volleyball coach Mandy Smid was also excited to see Bain back on the court. Smid noted that Camryn brings several positive qualities to the court.

“Camryn is a leader by example and she is going to do whatever she can physically to make sure that her role on the team is done to the very best that she can to ensure that the rest of our offense is able to have success,” Smid said.

Smid also said that Bain has several qualities that stand out off the court as well.

“Camryn gets along with everyone. She’s competitive,” Smid said. “She is always encouraging of her teammates, but also one that can give the look when things aren’t being held to her expectations. So, in that way, she’s just really a leader on and off of the court for our team.”

Although Bain has only been at Roncalli for a couple of years after transferring from Aberdeen Central, she has made the most of her time by improving her game on the court, according to Smid.

“She is still very critical of herself and always wants to be better and be the best possible version of herself,” Smid said. “I think that she has done a nice job of taking that in stride in a way that her teammates don’t see that. She’s OK with having a hiccup here or there and is able to push past it and move on to the next ball.”

Bain participates in volleyball and basketball throughout the school year, and she says her favorite depends on the season that she is currently in. When it comes to volleyball, Bain says her favorite part is just being able to be on the court.

“I just love playing (and) being out on the court with my teammates and friends,” Bain said.

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Camryn Bain reaches to serve the ball during a recent match against Miller at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 8/29/2023

Bain says the best parts about being a Roncalli Cavalier are the small school atmosphere and incorporating faith into athletics.

“Being a smaller school, it’s a lot easier to get close with people,” Bain said. “And we get to tie our faith into all aspects. So, for sports, we pray a lot, and still get to incorporate our faith within our sport, which I think is really nice.”

As far as the rest of the volleyball season, Bain said the ultimate goal is to play in the state tournament and win the state championship, however, a smaller goal is to win each match that comes along.

“As we advance, our goal is next game is a win,” Bain said. “We need to focus on our next game, and then win that one, and just keep going like that.”

Bain and the Cavaliers will focus on their next opponent, Northeast Conference foe Groton, tonight at Roncalli Gym at approximately 7:30 p.m. Smid says Bain will be a key piece in the Cavaliers’ efforts tonight.

“Looking for her to have another great night,” Smid said. “Defensively, she’s a player that anticipates and can kind of play more of a read defense and see where hitters are going. Definitely the quarterback of the back row, basically, as she’s dictating where it needs coverage and where it doesn’t, and she does a nice job of filling that leader role.”

For Bain, she wants the team to be themselves and to try to come away with the win.

“I think if we just kind of focus on our aspects and try to play our game, it’s usually when we do better,” Bain said.

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