Sports

Oak Harbor volleyball | Fall prep preview

Twenty years ago Oak Harbor was a volleyball powerhouse; the Wildcats would like to return to that status.

Oak Harbor began building toward that goal last fall when it earned its first trip to the state tournament since 1991.

It won’t be easy to return, since Wesco 3A will be a balanced league in 2011, according to coach Kerri Molitor.

She said, “I anticipate that every match will be tough. I think we will have to outlast our opponents and limit our errors...I think any team can take the win on any given night. We have to perform consistently to earn our spot.”

Graduation robbed Oak Harbor of much of its 2010 team, but the cupboard isn’t bare as five letter winners return: seniors Christina Alexander and Janine DeGuzman, juniors Roshel Muzzall and Taylor Nienhuis, and sophomore Kayleigh Harper.

Muzzall will move from the middle to the outside and DeGuzman from the back row to the other outside slot to lead the Oak Harbor attack.

Harper, who began seeing varsity action late last season, will man the middle. Molitor said Harper “looks good” and “has done a lot of work in the off season to prepare for this year.”

Nienhuis will replace departed all-league setter Jordan Faralan.

Alexander, the team captain, will serve as the libero.

Key newcomers, according to Molitor, include senior Lizzy Chase and juniors Hannah Salmons, Kelsey Rankin, Amanda Pavey and Ally McGuire.

Molitor said the team is working on what “rotation works best.” She added, “We have several players that can play multiple positions.”

Will the Wildcats return to their glory years? Molitor said, “They have a very strong work ethic and a burning desire for a repeat visit to state.”

She concluding by saying, “I have great kids to work with, a great coaching staff and we have a love for the game. What could be better?”

Oak Harbor, which finished 14-7 (7-3 in Wesco) last year, begins the season by hosting a jamboree Saturday, Sept. 3, at 9 a.m.

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