Setting the tone and setting up kills, Rossi the core of Grand R - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Setting the tone and setting up kills, Rossi the core of Grand Rapids volleyball

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Marissa Rossi doesn't play the most glamorous position for Grand Rapids girls' volleyball. But it's perhaps the most important. 

"She's just like the quarterback of the football team," said Thunderhwaks senior outside hitter Brianna Sutherland. "She's making all the plays and making all decisions and making us all look good." 

Rossi is the setter for Grand Rapids, and she wouldn't have it any other way. 

"I've always been a setter," said Rossi, a Thunderhawks senior. "I've always wanted to be a setter. I like being on the court." 

Although it's usually another teammate making the kill and winning the point, Rossi always benefits. 

"When somebody gets an awesome pass and it goes to an amazing kill, it's like 'oh my goodness!'" said Rossi. 

She comes from a volleyball family. 

"Both of my parents play volleyball," said Rossi. "My stepmom plays volleyball. My step sisters play volleyball. My stepdad plays volleyball." 

You get the point.

Rossi has been assisting on the court, one way or another, since the age of two. And it certainly shows.

"She always seems to know what's going on and know where people need to be," said Thunderhawks senior defensive specialist Molly Hasbargen. "If someone needs help, she is always there to help."

"She's super fast," said Thunderhawks head coach Chris Otto. "She can make an off-pass look like it was an on-pass."

She also works harder than anyone else. When you hear 'gym rat', think Marissa Rossi. 

"She's in the gym probably more hours in the year than anything else," said Otto with a chuckle. 

"If she's not in the gym, oh man, I don't know where else she'd be," said Hasbargen. 

All that practice has paid off. Rossi last year set the single-season assist record with 837 and led Thunderhawks to the MSHSL Class AAA state tournament.

To add to the accomplishments, this season she reached 2,000 career assists.

Next year, she will play Division I volleyball at Southern Illinois University, which only motivates Rossi more. 

"Now, it has given me an extra push," said Rossi. "because if I want to play or make it onto the court there, I'm going to have to step up my game more."

Which for the rest of this season, is bad news for the competition. 


Rossi and the Thunderhawks are (8-2) overall on the season and next host Bemidji on Thursday, September 21. 

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