Photo: Glencoe High School senior Bri Beyerle recently signed a volleyball scholarship with Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina. Pictured, sitting, from left: mom Michelle, Bri, dad Brian. Standing, from left: sisters Laurie Beth, Evie and Jacque.
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
It came down to numbers for Glencoe High senior Bri Beyerle in her goal of playing volleyball at the next level.
“I’m going to be a math teacher, and while I was texting the coach [at Erskine College], she told me that she had a math degree. So we immediately connected.”
That bond soon led to Beyerle signing with Erskine, a small liberal arts college located in Due West, South Carolina.
“I was able to talk with some of the girls [on the volleyball team], and we connected really well,” said Beyerle, who plans on majoring in math and secondary education. “I also watched a lot of their game film, and I felt that it was a place that I could play at. I was lucky because I got a really good scholarship.”
Playing primarily at middle blocker this past season, Beyerle finished with 382 kills, 358 assists, 285 digs, 90 blocks and 65 aces.
Glencoe volleyball coach Jamie Barkley, who also coached Beyerle in club ball this past spring, saw that she was a “different maker” soon after the latter’s first practice as a freshman.
“You could tell by Bri’s mannerisms and energy that she was going to be hard worker who would spur others on to do the same. On the court, whether I needed to block her in the middle or swing to the outside or set during her senior year, Bri was willing to do whatever it took at all times to make our program the most successful it could be, and was happy to do it. It didn’t matter if she was passing, hitting or setting; Bri wanted to make sure we were putting our best foot forward.”
Barkley considered Beyrele as a coach on the court, especially during this past season.
“Bri really could see what a coach can see. She leads by example and is the voice of leadership on the court. Bri has the attitude of, ‘Coach, I didn’t put that ball where I needed to, so tell me what I did wrong.’ She’s willing to learn from her mistakes, which is such a great example for our younger players. She also taught the rest of our team how to analyze film, and now I have a team full of film watchers because of her.”
Pointing to Beyerle’s versatility, Barkley sees her playing major minutes for Erskine this fall.
“They have a spot for her at middle [blocker] but she’s also plays right-side and left-side [hitter] and setter and back row passer, so she’s done it all. From what I understand, Bri will play immediately.”
A three-sport athlete, Beyerle also played varsity basketball and soccer at Glencoe. She acknowledged the sacrifices that had to be made in order to for her perform at a high level in the classroom and on the court.
“It wasn’t as bad during volleyball and basketball because I was only playing one sport, but it was tough playing club volleyball and soccer during the spring, I didn’t get to go out every night with my friends. I was telling them all the time that I couldn’t stay out late. But it paid off, for sure.”
Beyerle considers Barkley as a mentor both on and off the court.
“Coach was always so supportive and was there for me. She encouraged me to be a leader and told me from the first day that I could play at the next level.”
Accordingly, Barkley cut Beyerle little slack during practices and matches.
“Coach always pushed me to be my best and made me do the things I was supposed to do. She would always tell me when I needed to do something better and when I needed to fix something. She always knew when she had to get onto me extra. She definitely helped make me a better all-around person.”