Wednesday, February 1, 2023

West Geauga back for more

Last fall, West Geauga claimed its first league title in school history, and with five returning starters this season, the Wolverines are feeling a bit greedy.

“Our five returning starters are a huge asset to our team,” said 7th-year head coach Amber Baker. “If we could jell together as a team with six new players, I see us repeating as the Chagrin Valley Conference champs. We have two brand new middles this year and some underclassmen rounding out our back row, so to be successful this season we really need to come together and create the same kind of chemistry that we had last year. Our seniors this year have a lot on their shoulders and I plan on depending on them to play us out of any hard times on the court.”

Baker will lean on two returning first-team all-conference performers to set the tone.

Senior setter Hannah Laurich and junior outside hitter Kaitlyn Danszcak both return to the lineup and should play critical roles for the Wolverines this season.

“Hannah has been setting varsity for four years. I am confident she will run the offense exactly as we need her to,” Baker said. “Kaitlyn is an extremely strong outside hitter. I’m banking on her getting at least 10 kills per game and she can.”

West Geauga’s other seniors are libero Stephanie Meyer, defensive specialist Olivia Bartlett, and opposite side hitter Preston Clayman.

“Stephanie is vocal and aggressive. She is quick and gets to any ball and her effort is always at 100-percent,” Baker said. “Olivia is focused and hard-working. Her speed will save her on those hard-to-get balls. She can also hit if we get in any trouble. Preston can hit from anywhere. She is always hustling and she’s always ready to play.”

Sophomore middle hitter Mikayla Herbst made an impact last season as a freshman and Baker expects to see continued growth out of her.

“Mikayla is a sophomore and she has grown so much from her freshman season,” Baker said. “The sky is the limit for her. We are expecting big things and she will show up.”

Senior Allison Mueller, juniors Molly Widmar and Grace Laster, and sophomores Ceci Jadrych and Monika Velazquez will provide depth for the Wolverines.

Click here to watch West Geauga’s segment from the 2021 CVC Volleyball Media Day.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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