CLARKS SUMMIT — Abington Heights senior Rhys Yarns has played a big role in the success of the boys volleyball team over the past three seasons.
Yarns, who first began playing the sport as a freshman, credits head coach Jamie Spangler and the Comets staff for helping him adapt to different situations and position changes.
“They’ve really helped me fit into my roles and become a better player,” he said.
The Clarks Summit resident increased his dedication when he was added to the varsity roster as a sophomore.
“The older guys wanted to win games and I really wanted to help them out,” Yarns said. “My drive has progressed over the years and I want to get better and better.”
Yarns, 18, made a position change to libero, a player who specializes in defensive skills, this season.
“I think he was kind of hesitant at first, but he’s done very well,” Spangler said. “I think he’s embraced it a little bit and his ability to swing to the back row helps from his perspective because he wants to be able to contribute. He’s always been pretty athletically gifted and now he’s honing in on his technical skills.”
Yarns’ best memory from his career at Abington Heights is the team’s win over Mountain View that clinched the Lackawanna League championship last season.
“We won it in the fifth set and there was a lot of emotion,” he said. “It was a big match.”
According to Spangler, the strongest part of Yarns’ game is his serve.
“He’s led the team in aces for three years and that’s definitely been a huge help for us,” Spangler said. “We always use him as our first server every game because his serve is really brutal on opposing teams.”
Spangler also believes Yarns’ commitment to the sport sets a good example for younger players on the team.
“He’s one of our captains and he leads by example,” Spangler said. “He always works hard and is focused on making adjustments. He’s always helping put up the nets and is always the first person leading the laps.”
The Comets have won their first nine matches of the season and Yarns believes the team’s perseverance has led to its consistent play.
“We can always rely on each other,” he said. “If one person messes up, there’s always someone else to pick them back up.”
Rhys, the son of Amy and Chris Yarns, plans to attend Penn State University and study biology.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.