Here's everything you need to get ready for the 2022 high school volleyball season in Crawford County.
Conference: Northern 10
Coach: Missy McDougal (second year, 23-2)
Last season: 23-2 overall, 14-0 N10 champions; D-IV district runner-up
Probable starters and key contributors: Kimmy Biglin, jr., OH; Adrienne Jury, fr., OH; Grace Collene, so., RH; Maren McDougal, fr., S; Mia McDougal, jr., MB (.307 hitting, 142 kills, 79 blocks, 23 aces, 96.4% serving, first team N10, second team District 6); Kennedy Deppen, sr., MB; Mara McDougal, so.; DS (207 digs, 77 kills, 30 aces, 92.9% serving)
Coach's comments: Losing six talented seniors to graduation makes this year’s team very different and very young. This will be the year for our underclassmen to step up and continue the winning tradition at Buckeye Central … Our goal at BC every year is to win the league and to get out of districts. It’s been quite a few years since we have won a district title, but we are going to keep working hard to achieve both of goals … I think there will be more parity in the league this year and there should be a lot of great matches. I think we can compete with all the top teams in the league, but we will need to find consistency night in and night out.
Quick rundown: It's going to be a new-look Buckeye Central, having lost virtually the entire starting lineup, both setters, big hitters and a libero. But if there's any program around capable of reloading instead of going into rebuild mode, it's the Buckettes. Assuming Mara is back to full strength coming off major hip surgery, she should be one of the most versatile young players in the area. Older sister Mia will likely be a dominant hitter with youngest sister Maren and classmate Jury freshmen to keep an eye on. Deppen coming out for her senior year adds much needed height, while Collene and Biglin are talents who have just been waiting for their time to shine.
Conference: Northern 10
Coach: Amber Christy (first year, 0-0)
Last season: 1-21 overall, 0-14 N10
Probable starters and key contributors: Maddie Kimmel, sr., OH (46 kills, 29 aces, 230 digs, 242 receptions, HM N10); Lilly Neumann, jr., RH (40 kills, 16 aces, 17 blocks, 140 digs); Kelsie Clayton, sr., OH (61 kills, 21 aces, 193 digs, 156 receptions); Addy Ricker, jr., S (13 kills, 160 digs, 202 assists); Emma Tyrrell, jr., MB (126 kills, 25 aces, 57 blocks, 215 digs, 197 receptions); Macey Williams, sr., MB (96 kills, 15 aces, 45 blocks, 138 digs, 161 receptions); Layla Ellis, jr., L (231 digs, 198 receptions); Cambria Wolff, sr., DS (94 digs, 136 receptions)
Coach's comments: Although this is my first year at Bucyrus, I see excitement and a group of players that are eager to learn. They are all working hard on the court and in the weight room …I think we have several players that will be noticed this season. We have eight varsity players and they are all owning their roles. Kimmel is a six rotation player with great court knowledge, leadership, a big swing and solid back court play. Tyrrell will see the backcourt as well as be a top net protector, Ellis will run our backcourt as the libero, she is a quick, exciting defensive player to watch … We want to be competitive, we have to start and finish strong to win games. The N10 has several quality teams, I look for us to compete with all of them.
Quick rundown: Nobody returns what Bucyrus returns on the court this season. The last two seasons have really set the program up nicely for the 2022 season with four seniors and four juniors. Wins have been few and far between — winless in 2020 without taking even a set, one win in 2021 but more competitive — but that should change this season with Christy at the helm. Her knowledge and passion for the game is almost unrivaled in the area. If anyone can get the most of of their players, it's her.
Conference: Northern 10
Coach: Taylor Heiby (third year, 26-20)
Last season: 16-7 overall, 9-5 N10
Probable starters and key contributors: Rylee Ritzhaupt, sr., OH (337 kills, 22 blocks, 108 digs, HM All-Ohio); Reagan Ritzhaupt, sr., OH (160 kills, 13 blocks, 60 digs); Mira Holt, so., RH; Emma Scott, sr., S (702 assists, 53 aces, 209 digs, second team N10); Abby Martin, sr., MB (97 kills, 54 blocks, 111 digs); Niyah Shipman, jr., MB (88 kills, 24 blocks); Alivia Treisch, sr. DS (257 digs, 207 receptions); Molli Teglovic, sr., DS (124 digs, 160 receptions)
Coach's comments: It has been evident this year that our front row will be very strong, we have very experienced hitters in the front row. My senior setter has a lot of experience in her position. Although we did lose a couple back row players last year, we still have experience in the backrow, but some players are going to have to step up an take some different roles in the back row this year … Rylee Ritzhaupt will be playing all the way around for us, she is our go to player. She will put the ball down when needed. She is a leader on and off the court and will one of the top players around the area … Reagan Ritzhaupt will also be playing in all six rotations for us. She will be another go to hitter when we need her and she has improved so much over the past couple years … Emma Scott is one of the hardest working girls we have on the team. She is a scrappy player, a very aggressive server, and she works very hard to get the sets to where they are suppose to go … Abby Martin has been a huge block for us. She is very strong at the net and a player that brings lot of energy to the team … One of your biggest goals is competing for a league championship. We have a lot of experience coming back this year and we have worked very hard this summer to work for that goal. We have watched a few of the teams in our league this summer at tournaments and from what we have watched they are very talented. We have had a very strong summer this year winning two big tournaments … We have potential to have one of the best volleyball seasons that Colonel Crawford has had in a long time.
Quick rundown: Expectations are quite high in North Robinson this year, as they should be. Boasting one of the preseason favorites to be N10 Player of the Year Rylee Ritzhaupt along with a number of returning players and talent rampant throughout the squad, the Eagles should be in for one heck of a season. This is a team that will be very strong at the net, scrappy on defense and make you pay if you leave any of the hitters open. Communication and teamwork is key if this program wants to compete for its first league title since 2004.
Conference: Mid-Buckeye Conference
Coach: Whitney Booth (second year, 5-17)
Last season: 5-17 overall, 2-8 MBC
Probable starters and key contributors: Marissa Black, sr., OH (37 kills, 106 digs, 55 assists, 141 receptions); Ellie Miller, jr., RH (32 kills, 10 aces, 201 digs, 21 assists, 269 receptions); Kendall Huffman, jr., OppH (19 kills, 20 digs); Lillian Higgins, jr., S (78 kills, 58 aces, 183 digs, 131 assists, 70 receptions, HM District 6); Jacelynn Miller, jr., MB (transfer from Ontario); Kennedi Sipes, jr., DS (13 aces, 249 digs, 262 receptions, HM All-Mid-Buckeye); Kensie Pitt, so.; Lilliainna Bayes, so.; Olivai Posey, so.; Dalani Kiser, sr.
Coach's comments: This year’s team is going to different mostly because Dalani is likely to be out for the season with a knee injury. Jacelynn Miller, transfer from Ontario, will be filling in for her. Other than that, the Bulldogs will continue to be interchangeable … Lillian Higgins is one to watch out for as she is an all-around solid volleyball player. Jacelynn Miller is also one to watch out for as she will likely be an offensive leader on the team. Kennedi Sipes as well with leading the defense … The team's goals are to improve last year's record and be more aggressive offensively. We will continue to work on perseverance. There is some strong competition in our league, but we are hoping to compete.
Quick rundown: All but one starter was back prior to Kiser's unfortunate knee injury. Her absence will be felt, but newcomer Miller from Ontario should be able to slot in and fill that void. One of the biggest things last season was one bad point snowballing into several and the Bulldogs digging themselves into a hole they couldn't get out of. With so much talent and leadership back, Crestline could be a sneaky team in the MBC. If anything, this will be a scrappy team that opponents struggle to break down.
Conference: Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference
Coach: Kathleen Davis (second year, 15-8)
Last season: 15-8 overall, 10-4 MOAC
Probable starters and key contributors: Ashley Dyer, jr., OH (307 kills, 20 aces, 44 blocks, 331 digs, 25 assists, 284 receptions, second team District 6); Jordan Roderick, jr., RH (45 kills, 12 blocks, 40 digs, 36 receptions); Madeline Schieber, so., OppH (146 kills, 21 aces, 113 digs, 179 receptions); Ella Payne, sr., S (40 kills, 31 aces, 307 digs, 711 assists, HM District 6); Hailey Young, jr., MB (184 kills, 62 blocks); Audrey Glew, so., DS (52 digs, 73 receptions); Jillian Capretta, so. (127 kills, 10 aces, 58 blocks, 51 digs, 21 receptions, HM District 6); Kaya Capretta, sr. (26 aces, 98.4% serving, 212 digs, 231 receptions); Reagan Ivy, sr.; Skyleigh Young, sr.
Coach's comments: This year we have almost all of our starters coming back, so from last year to this year there is only one major change — libero … Ashley Dyer is our leader on and off the court, she makes sure things get done. Ella Payne is our ruler of the court, she controls the offense … This season we want to get further in the tournament and win the MOAC. To win the league, we'll have to get past Highland and River Valley. Against both teams we'll have to focus on our side of the net and control what we can control. To get further in the tournament, we need to speed up our offense.
Quick rundown: This team has an eerily similar look to the 2019 squad that won the program's first district title in 14 years before falling to state No. 1 Ottawa-Glandorf in regionals. It has arguably the best setter in the county in Payne, one of the best all-around players in the greater area in Dyer, top-tier young talent in Schieber, Glew and Jillian Capretta, dominant net presences in Young and Roderick, plus depth to go along with it. The league is going to be difficult with D-I powerhouse Highland standing in Galion's way, along with an always tricky to play River Valley. But the drop down to D-III in for the postseason will be something Davis and the Tigers should be excited about and could set the program up to compete for another district championship come late October.
Conference: Northern 10
Coach: Clara Adelsperger (third year, 35-12)
Last season: 17-6 overall, 11-3 N10 runner-up
Probable starters and key contributors: Emma Steiger, sr., OH (85 kills, 18 aces, 19 blocks, 239 digs, 159 receptions, HM N10); Reese McGuire, sr., OH/DS (56 kills, 30 blocks, 281 digs, 361 receptions); Aleece Filliater, sr., RH (20 kills, 20 blocks); Zoe Whitmeyer, jr., OppH/S; Clareese Prenger, sr., S (7 digs, 11 assists); Grace Stucky, sr., MB (86 kills, 38 blocks, 35 digs, 34 receptions); Katie Wagner, sr., MB (65 kills, 40 blocks, 25 digs)
Coach's comments: Going into this season, our team will look much different from last season. We lost eight seniors including an All-Ohioan. We do return four starters and a handful of other upperclassmen who have a significant amount of playing experience at different levels of the game. This is definitely going to be a building year for us, as this is the first time some of our upperclassmen have played together … Grace Stucky, Katelyn Wagner and Emma Steiger are my returning starters from last year and have shown tremendous growth in the offseason. Emma Steiger has two years of varsity experience and will be playing all-around again this year. Reese McGuire is an excellent defensive player and productive hitter, she will be on the court in all six rotations … The goal is to compete each game. In the conference, I’d like us to finish in the top quarter of the league. In terms of tournament, we have yet to win a sectional over the duration of these seniors’ high school volleyball career, so winning a sectional championship is our top priority this season. In order to achieve these goals, we have to have girls that are committed to improving and making adjustments that are best for the team. We have a lot of versatile players, as well as a significant amount of program development that we want to work on with our younger players, so we are keeping that in mind as we play around with lineups early on in the season … Additionally, we are really trying to encourage a positive, encouraging team culture this season. Excitement, determination and enjoyment out of the process are goals that I want each player to achieve this season.
Quick rundown: Wynford boasts some dynamic multi-sport athletes in McGuire, Stucky and Wagner who all love the sport, while Steiger has consistently been an elite player for the Royals each year on the varsity squad. If these four returning starters can lead the way and guide the new faces in key positions, Wynford could be in for another stellar year coming off a league runner-up finish and sectional runner-up to Edison in the postseason. McGuire will be a player opposing teams plan to avoid as she's capable of doing virtually anything on the court. But avoiding her — or focusing on her defensively — means someone like Stucky, Wagner, Steiger or any of the new faces will have more opportunities. The league is relatively wide open, but with that means everyone has to bring their A-game each match.
This article originally appeared on Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum: Volleyball overview for Crawford County