By Steve Hare
West Geauga’s volleyball team took a hit with the graduation of nine seniors but the Wolverines do return four starters this fall for fifth-year head coach Amber Baker.
With the restructuring of the Chagrin Valley Conference, the Wolverines are hungrier than ever to win a league title.
“Heading into the 2019 season, I am expecting big things,” Baker said. “With the conference changes, we have a good shot at winning our first-ever CVC banner in volleyball if we all play to our potential. We have a young team with limited varsity experience, but we will be prepared and ready to fight to reach our goal.”
Perry, Geneva and Harvey moved into the new Lake Division leaving the Wolverines to compete with Beachwood, Chagrin Falls, Hawken and Orange for the top spot in the Chagrin Division.
Three-year letter winner and returning starter Sarah Koach is among the most experienced of the Wolverines. She finished second on the team in blocks recorded and is quick to cover the middle. Koach was named honorable mention All-CVC last season.
Sophomore setter Hannah Laurich also is expected to be a cornerstone of the squad.
“Laurich can do it all,” Baker said. “This season, Hannah will be setting, hitting, and playing back row. Her positive attitude and hard work ethic should spread like wildfire through the team.”
Juniors Brooke Henriksen and Lauren Lance also return in the starting lineup.
“Brooke is also a setter who will be assisting on defense as well this season. Brooke led the team in assists last season,” Baker said. “Lauren Lance is our other powerful middle hitter. With a flawless approach and fast swing, she will certainly be racking up the kills this season.”
Junior Lauren Kretschman and senior Zoe Meyers will play on the outside and senior Natalie Mueller will patrol the weak side. Sophomore Stephanie Meyer, junior Carlee Stilliana and senior Maddie Cook will play in the back row.
“We will have to be scrappy and give 100-percent effort on every play to reach our goal of being CVC champs,” Baker said.