Experienced team returns to the court

In her eighth season as Oak Harbor High School head volleyball coach, Keri Molitor has a host of experienced players returning to the roster.

In fact, the Wildcats graduated but a single player off last year’s team that just missed reaching the WesCo North playoffs.

“We have a good, solid returning core of players and most of our starting lineup is back,” Molitor said. “We have strong leadership and a well-rounded team. We also have a solid defense and a tall front line.”

Returning for the Wildcats are seniors Kristine Martinez, Janay Baeyen, Rebecca Wheeler, Clair Thiel and Allison Cowan, along with juniors Kim Mowbray, Jennifer Jansen and Jessica Muzall.

“We also have two new players this season, junior Mary Ryan and sophomore Melany Cone,” Molitor said. “Melany will play on both the varsity and junior varsity teams.”

Molitor said the team is working hard on reducing the errors.

“I think that has been our downfall. We can do some amazing things at times, but we still make a lot of errors,” she said.

So far the team has been playing well in pre-season practice sessions and Molitor said she is pleased with how things have been going.

“The team worked hard over the summer,” she said. “They all have good attitudes and are hard workers. In addition, everyone on the team is a good student and I think they exemplify what we are looking for in student-athletes. They set a good example for players coming up.”

Molitor said all of the teams in the WesCo North are going to be the teams to beat this season.

“We play in a tough league and we’re not going to overlook anyone,” she said. “Monroe will be one of the top teams and they are going to be the ones we’re shooting for. Stanwood and Marysville-Pilchuck are always tough as well. Anybody we play on any given night will be strong competition. It will be up to us.”

Oak Harbor opened the season Sept. 5 defeating Cascade 25-19, 25-11, 28-26 in a non-league match.

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