GALION — Galion High School’s volleyball squad will have some big shoes to fill this season, but will do so with most of last season’s sectional championship team in tact.
Marisa Gwinner graduated in the spring of 2017 and is Tiffin University bound. Gwinner reached the 1,000 kill club in her time sporting the blue and orange, and will be a tough athlete to replace at the net. Also, senior Kasidee Sinclair will miss her senior season for Galion after a torn ACL, leaving more of a void for the Lady Tigers to fill.
Still seven letterwinners return for the Tiger ladies, including three student athletes who played their way to Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference honors last season. All three did that as freshmen.
Kayla Hardy, the Tigers’ primary setter, received a first-team all-conference nod last fall to go along with a Division III, District VI second-team bid. At the net, Samantha Comer and Jaden Ivy will have to pick up where they left off during Galion’s run last year. Comer was on the MOAC second-team while Ivy received an honorable mention nod and a DIII, DVI third-team nomination while helping propel the Lady Tigers to a 17-7 overall finish, including a 13-1 mark in conference play. That 13-1 finish within the MOAC provided Galion the conference champion over the Pleasant Lady Spartans that finished at 12-2.
Joining the trio of sophomores as returning letterwinners will be juniors Nicole Thomas, Gillian Miller and Kate Schieber, as well as senior Abby Foust. Also looking to make an impact for the returning MOAC champions will be a healthy Gracie Groves and the energetic Brooklyn Cosey.
“Our district is always full of great teams and competition, and our team goals always include making it out of districts,” said head coach Jaime Valentine, entering her 11th year as head coach and 23rd overall coaching within the district.
In 2017, Galion was eliminated from postseason contention in the district semifinals by Crestviewin a hard fought, four-set match.
As for what league play has in store, coach Valentine keeps it short and sweet.
“(It) should be a fun and competitive season with in the MOAC. Our goal is to repeat as league champions,” she said.
Regular season action begins for Galion on Tuesday, Aug. 21 when they load up the bus and head to Bellevue. Competition in the MOAC begins Aug. 23 when the Tigers welcome the Pleasant Lady Spartans to their home court.