BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University volleyball team, under the direction of third-year Head Coach Scott Carter, will once again rely on some new faces in the rotation as the Yellow Jackets make their return to the top of the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2017.
Picked fourth in the 2017 OAC Preseason Poll, BW finished last season with an overall record of 24-6 and a 5-4 mark in the conference. Carter returns four letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad, including one senior, two juniors, one sophomore and two All-OAC players, while welcoming 18 new faces that will all push for playing time in the starting rotation.
The returners are led by senior All-OAC utility player Ellen Hawkins (Worthington/Thomas Worthington), junior two-time All-OAC outside hitter Alicia Lortcher (Norwalk) and junior Academic All-OAC defensive specialist Angel Redman (Hinckley/Medina Highland). Sophomore outside hitter/right side hitter Allyson Smith (Macedonia/Walsh Jesuit) also returns for her second year on the team.
Lortcher and Hawkins led the Yellow Jackets a season ago with 378 kills and 305 kills, respectively. Lortcher also tied for second on the team in aces with 28 and was second in digs as well with 381. Hawkins was third on the team in total blocks with 36. Smith had a solid freshman campaign with 176 kills, 67 digs and 11 service aces in 29 total matches. Redman appeared in 16 matches in 2016 and collected 22 digs and three service aces.
Freshmen Kathleen Egan (Cleveland/Beaumont), Sydni Colchagoff (Findlay/Liberty-Benton), Sam Pruett (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley), Rachel Holliday (Elyria) and Abby Cosart (Lima/Bath) will all compete to run the offense as the setter this season.
In the front row, freshmen Allison May (Louisville/St. Thomas Aquinas), Taylor Brown (Maple Heights), Jessica Whitehead (Wyoming, Mich.), Kail Nicholas (Milwaukee, Wis./University School of Wisconsin) and Ashley Ackerman (Cranesville, Pa./Northwestern) will all add to a balanced Yellow Jacket attack.
Freshmen Emily Moser (Durham, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons), Olivia Brooker (Chagrin Falls/Orange), Sarah Reinhard (Willoughby/South), Jasmine Hromada (Lorain/Elyria Catholic) and Whitney Wallace (Salem/West Branch) will all compete for the libero position to lock down the team's defense.
Rounding out the roster are freshmen utility players Jessica Laney (Navarre/Fairless), Alexis Garrett (Mentor) and Taylor Gimenez (Attica/Seneca East), who will all look to have an immediate impact in every area on the court.
BW opens its season in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on September 1-2 when it competes in the Greyhound Premier Invitational hosted by Moravian College. The 19th Annual Marcia French Memorial Invitational will be hosted on the campuses of Baldwin Wallace and Case Western Reserve University on September 8-9. BW will also host the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Ohio Athletic Conference Crossover on September 22-23. Conference play opens on September 28 when the Yellow Jackets travel to Marietta College.