Swanton’s volleyball program is looking up after last season, which saw them go 18-7 and win a sectional championship.
The Bulldogs did lose five letter winners. However, three quality players return for them.
“We have had some success this summer in some camps, so we are looking to continue to build upon that and keep improving daily,” said coach Kyle Borer. “As I said before, we are young, but we’ll have high expectations as we did last year, and work hard every day to achieve our goals.
“We have come a long way this summer, and hopefully we can continue the success our program has had the past few years.”
Returning letter winners for the Bulldogs are Sidney Taylor (second team All-NWOAL, honorable mention all-district), Julia Smith (honorable mention All-NWOAL), and Cydney Christensen (honorable mention All-NWOAL).
Taylor led the way with 396 digs and 220 kills a season ago. Smith finished last season with 200 kills, while Christensen had 190 kills.
“We have a very solid group of hitters returning this season,” said Borer. “We have three out of our top four girls in kills coming back. We have become a very effective serving team. We are a very athletic group this year, and hopefully that shows up on the court.”
Letter winners lost for the Dogs were Claire Leidigh (first team all-league, first team District 7), Heather Williams (second team all-league, honorable mention District 7), Kyleigh Ramlow (first team all-league), Karah Kohlman and Lindsey Fickel.
Newcomers to the roster are Deanna Herr, Cassie Kosier, Angie Robinson, Abby Arnold, Riley Gardner, Ellie Beroske and Olivia Williams.
These newcomers will have to adjust quickly so the Dogs can enjoy as much success as last season.
“We only have three letter winners returning, so just the lack of varsity experienced players returning is a concern,” said Borer. “We graduated a very experienced setter last year, so that position is an area where we really need to find consistency and leadership. We are also a very young team this year so leadership on the court is where we need to improve as we head into the season.”
Borer looks for his squad to be right in the thick of the NWOAL race.
“Based on what teams have returning this season and how summer competitions have played out, I would say Patrick Henry will be a solid team,” he said. “I think we are right in the mix with a couple other teams that will battle each night out to try and compete for an NWOAL championship this season.”
Swanton begins the season Aug. 25 with a home match-up with Gibsonburg.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010