Bergen Reilly gained a world of experience playing for Team USA

O’Gorman senior helped Team USA to silver medal
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 11:39 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Though the O’Gorman volleyball team didn’t play a match for the last week and a half, senior Bergen REilly brought back a world of experience after competing with the United States Olympic Level team in the Dominican Republic.

After helping the United State Under-19 team win the Pan American Cup in July, Bergen Reilly and her O’Gorman teammates were looking forward to a normal senior year. “I’ll be honest it was shocking! I was doing the freshman practice and all of a sudden she was kind of teary eyed. And she had a hurt arm so I was like oh boy, what happened?” O’Gorman Head Coach Cale Hecht says.

That changed two weeks ago when her mother got a call from the United States olympic level volleyball team down a player due to COVID-19.. “I was just sitting in class doing my homework (when she was told). I immediately knew I was going to go. I mean, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.” O’Gorman Senior Bergen Reilly says.

Over a 24 hour period Bergen described as chaotic, she flew out to Miami and joined the United States team on it’s way to the Pan-American Final Six Tournament in the Dominican Republic. The backup setter was the first high school age player on the roster in more than two decades. “It was a little tough but all of the girls were so great to me. They took me under their wing. They were really welcoming.” Reilly says of her older teammates.

Over the next week and half Bergen competed at the highest level. “It’s a whole different game playing with bigger people that run a faster tempo. So it was good for me. It pushed me, it challenged me.” Bergen says.

As her team watched back in Sioux Falls. “I figured it would be a good experience for the girls, a good chance to support her, a good chance for the girls to watch some high level volleyball.” Hecht says.

And Reilly certainly missed being a regular high school senior. “It was kind of tough. I missed our Dakota Bowl game which kind of stunk. But yeah, you can’t pass up that opportunity.” Reilly says.

Which might explain why, just 48 hours after winning the silver medal with team USA she was back at practice, and 72 hours later playing again for the Knights in a match. “I think it’s just taught me even more that I need to be a leader and everyone is going to look to me for what to do and how to act.” Reilly says.

It also makes you wonder if she’ll get another call in 2024. “It encouraged me and got me excited for what’s to come!” Bergen says.

To play for Team USA again in the Olympics. “I think it’s an opportunity that’s very reachable. I think this was just another way of kind of showing that she has the talent and she has the skill.” Hecht says.

Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.