Wednesday, October 5, 2022

West Geauga ready for a run

With seven key players returning, the West Geauga volleyball team is ready to make a run at the Chagrin Valley Conference title this season.

The Wolverines, who finished 11-9 last season, have the speed, experience and talent to get the job done.

“This is my quickest team yet,” said seventh-year coach Amber Baker. “We have the ability to get to every single ball. We have a few girls that can jump out of the gym…some serious hang time. My team needs to play confidently and use our speed to our advantage. We have almost all of our starters back from last year, so we are strong and ready for a big season.”

Senior setter Brooke Henriksen and junior setter Hannah Laurich return after earning all-conference honors last fall.

“They are the glue to this team and can both pass and hit when needed,” Baker said.

The back row features a group of returning letter winners.

“Our back row players are all returning letterers and are working very well together,” Baker said. “Carlee Stilliana is ready for a full season with us. She was only able to play half a season with us last year due to her transfer from NDCL. Juniors Olivia Bartlett and Stephanie Meyer are also working hard digging everything that comes their way.”

West Geauga did have a hold in the middle but senior Erin Piczer filled that gap and coupled with classmate Lauren Lance, the duo provides a solid tandem for the Wolverines.

“Senior middles Lauren Lance and Erin Piczer will be dominating the middle for us this season,” Baker said. “They both have amazing timing on their blocks and hit inside the (10-foot line) on a sweet set.”

Defensively, juniors Holly Hamilton and Preston Clayman will clean up on the outside and keep the West Geauga defense on its toes.

“I am expecting them both to be big contributors no matter where I put them in the lineup,” Baker said.

Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn Danszczak also will contribute this fall.

“Kaitlyn lettered for us as a freshman last year and her quick swing and impressive vertical will guarantee her lots of kills this season,” Baker said.

With COVID-19 casting doubt on the season, the Wolverines are doing what they can to ensure they get an opportunity to play this season.

And if they do, look out.

“With all of the setbacks of this season because of the pandemic, I am confident that our team will rise up and give an impressive performance this year,” Baker said. “I wish all of the volleyball teams the best of luck and I applaud your tenacity and willingness to adapt to all the new rules that have come your way this season.”

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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