Many talented returnees have helped the Elgin High School volleyball team post another healthy won-lost record this fall.
The mark is not as flashy as last year’s 20-4 ledger, but the Lady Comets are still a team to be reckoned with in the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference.
“Our keys to winning are leadership, court play and finishing,” said sixth-year coach Kory Ute, who had a 96-24 record heading into this season. “We have height, blocking, hitting and game experience. We have been striving for court unity and quickness.”
Ute wants her team to be at its best physically and emotionally each night. So far, so good as the Lady Comets won seven of their first 11 matches overall and four of their first six in conference action.
During that time, senior middle blocker and hitter Jace Wolf posted 86 kills and 37 blocks. She led the team in kills (256), blocks (29) and aces (46) a year ago.
Senior outside hitter/setter Allison Tumey also has had quite a 2013 campaign so far. An All-Ohio honorable mention last season, she was the Elgin 2012 pacesetter in points (192) and recorded 234 kills.
Seniors Kendra Benson, an outside hitter, and Dana Patrick, a setter, also have been strong for Ute this fall. Patrick notched 203 assists last year and Benson 147 kills and 145 points.
Also contributing this season have been sophomore Tailor Wolf; seniors Rachel Himler, Taylor Close and Courtney Flach; and sophomores Brianna Appelfeller and Madison Clark.
Graduation cost Elgin the services of Teylor Gracely (201 kills, 286 digs), Jess Cornelius (120 digs), Emily Titus (90 digs) and Elle Buyer (third in the MOAC with 413 digs).
The Lady Comets came into this week only two games behind Fairbanks in the race for the Red Division title of the MOAC.
Ute is hoping her squad can continue to contend for the MOAC title and, down the road, a Central District championship.
Elgin’s boys golf team has been very close to tournament titles this fall, finishing second or third in them all, to meet one of three-year coach Bob Douds’ goals.
“Our ultimate goal was to compete for a Red Division title, but River Valley (the unbeaten division winners) is one of the best teams I have seen since I’ve been coaching,” Douds said. “Our other main goal was to, as a team, finish in the top three.”
Douds did not lose any seniors from last year’s 20-22 squad. Eight letter winners returned for the 2013 season.
This year’s players are being led by junior Lucas Haycook (44.1 stroke average last year), junior Cole Ritchie (46.6), and senior Kyle Hall (42.1).
Seniors Shane Jones and Matt Reebel, along with juniors Ryan Bakies and Garrett Hay, have seen much varsity playing time this season. Junior Courtney Good also is a team member.
“We have tried to play well every match and reduce our mental mistakes,” Douds said. “Our players have been a little inconsistent, but I believe they have stepped up as their confidence has grown.”
No information was available from the Elgin cross country teams.