Evergreen volleyball, who shared the Northwest Ohio Athletic League title with Wauseon last season, looks to remain on top with a pair of first team all-leaguers returning.
“This year we look to return strong in our league,” said coach Nichole Thanasiu, entering her second year at the helm. “We have a mature team with seven seniors on our team. We hope to take the momentum from last year (a co-league championship season) and carry (it) into this year. We hope to use our experience to carry us far into the tournament this year.”
Returning for the Vikings are McKenna Babcock and Claire Conrad, each of whom were first team All-NWOAL and second team in District 7 a season ago. They also get back Nicole Brand, Savannah VanOstrand, Mikayla Heintschel, Naomi Brand and Kennedi Keifer.
Newcomers to the squad include Madison Smith, Gina Silvestri, Morgan Foster and Cassidy Cook.
“This season our strength is our offense,” explained Thanasiu. “We are returning our 5-1 setter (Conrad), middle blocker (Nicole Brand), outside hitter (Naomi Brand, Babcock) and right-side hitter (VanOstrand).
However, they do have to replace four letter winners off last year’s team that went 15-8 overall and 6-1 in the league. Gone are Kori Kreuz (honorable mention all-league, Zoe VanOstrand, Kelsie Komisarek (honorable mention all-league) and Cecilia Silvestri (second team all-league).
The loss of Silvestri will especially be missed, according to Thanasiu. “Our current weakness is our passing. We graduated a four-year letter winner libero,” she said.
The second-year coach is confident her squad can achieve a second straight NWOAL title.
“This year we look to defend our title and repeat,” said Thanasiu. “The league this year has some good teams, but we look to use our experience to help guide us to another title.”
Evergreen is at Maumee next Tuesday, Aug. 20 to start the season.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010