In his eighth year as Highland’s head volleyball coach, Rob Terrill is hoping that another team loaded with letter-winners can lead to another very successful season. In his seven years of coaching, the team has compiled a 158-28 record with six league champions, three district champions and a Division III Final Four trip in 2016.
To help in maintaining that level of success, Terrill returns seven letter-winners. Junior outside hitter Raina Terry, who is committed to Illinois University, was a first-team All-Ohio and KMAC player, as well as the Central District Player of the Year. Last year, she had 475 kills and has 744 over two years.
Senior Libero Bridget Oder was a first-team pick in the league and district, as well as an honorable mention All-Ohio selection. She had 481 digs last year, as well as the school records for a season (546 in 2016) and career (1443).
Junior middle hitter Gena West was an honorable mention pick in the league. She tallied 103 kills and a team-leading 44 blocks last year. Sophomore outside hitter/DS Makenna Belcher added 129 kills and 152 digs last year, while seniors Christina Rose and Kelsee Bargnesi and junior Darcie Walters also provide experience.
The team did graduate three key players in Parker Steck, Bailey Santo and Krista Walters. Steck and Santo earned accolades from the league and district and Santo is currently playing at Tiffin University. Looking to help replace them are seniors Kacie O’Leary and Kenzee Bargnesi, junior Tabitha Arnold, sophomore Abby Eusey and freshmen Ashlynn Belcher and Kendall Stover.
Terrill notes that he hopes a tough schedule will help his team in having success in both the league and district.
“We should challenge again for a KMAC championship and a Central District championship,” he said. “Our non-league schedule is tough with DeSales, Hartley, Big Walnut, Perrysburg Tournament and a JV tournament at Kilbourne. If our younger players mesh with our experienced players, then hopefully we can make a tournament run in October and November.”
While he says that getting the younger players up to speed and playing at a high level every night are concerns, the coach adds that there are a lot of positives attached to his program.
“We should have plenty of offensive options,” said Terrill. “Our ball control is usually pretty good and we have a lot of talented young ladies that play a lot of volleyball.”
The coach looks at a lot of teams in the KMAC as being capable of challenging his squad’s hold on the league title, citing Northmor, Cardington and Fredericktown in particular.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS