Two years removed from a Northwest Ohio Athletic League title, the Swanton volleyball team will look to climb back to the top of the standings in 2019. The Bulldogs tied for fourth in the NWOAL last season, and return several key players from that squad.
Seven letter winners are back including five seniors. Leading the way is middle hitter Alexis Sarvo. She had 148 kills, 319 assists, and 266 digs last season, while earning first team All-NWOAL honors.
Fellow senior Ashlynn Waddell, an outside hitter, was second team All-NWOAL after recording 229 kills and 66 digs. Also back is Jessica Dohm, an outside hitter, who was honorable mention all-league with 187 kills, 155 serve receptions, and 224 digs.
“With what we have coming back from last year, expectations are high,” said coach Kyle Borer, who has a career record of 102-44. “We’ve had a lot of growth and success this summer at camps, which gives us hope for this season.”
Other seniors returnees are defensive specialist Kylie Ulch and senior right side hitter Alexis Bergman. Ulch had 48 aces, 315 serve receptions and 271 digs last season while Bergman had 26 aces, 46 kills, 209 digs, and 287 serve receptions.
Also back are junior setter/right side Sammi Taylor, who had 241 serve receptions, 158 assists, and 369 digs, and junior middle hitter Avril Roberts, who had 22 kills.
That experience from last year, depth, hard working and versatile players, and the ability to change up rotations were listed as strengths for this year’s squad. Consistency of play and height were listed as weaknesses. Sarvo and Roberts are the tallest on the team at 5-foot, 10-inches.
Newcomers to the team this year include junior outside hitter Kailey Brownfield, junior defensive specialist Bailey Arnold, senior right side hitter, Olivia Bergman, freshman setter/right side hitter Sofie Taylor, freshman middle/outside hitter, Katlyn Floyd, and sophomore middle/outside hitter Trista Eitniear.
The Bulldogs open the league season when they host defending co-league champion Evergreen on Aug. 27.
“The NWOAL is always a competitive league and we expect to be at the top and competing for the league championship,” said Borer.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010