BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University volleyball team, under the helm of fourth-year Head Coach Scott Carter, will lean on leadership and incoming youth to atop the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2018.
The Yellow Jackets finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 26-6 and a 4-5 conference mark. Carter will return eleven letter winners and five starters from the previous year, including two seniors, one junior, fourteen sophomores and two All-OAC players. Alongside the returners, nine new faces will compete for playing time on the court.
The returners are led by three-time All-OAC outside hitter, Alicia Lortcher (Norwalk), who will lead this group alongside junior All-OAC outside hitter/right side hitter Allyson Smith (Macedonia/Walsh Jesuit). Three sophomore starters, setter Kathleen Egan (Cleveland/Beaumont), libero/defensive specialist Sarah Reinhard (Willoughby/South), and middle hitter/right setter Jessica Whitehead (Wyoming, Mich.) all return for their second campaigns. Senior setter/defensive specialist Ashley Nuding (Perrysburg/Springfield), who currently stands as ninth all-time in BW history with 1,221 assists, will provide quality appearances for the Yellow Jackets.
Lortcher was an offensive force for the Yellow Jackets with 345 kills and 27 aces, and played great defensively, accumulating 354 digs and 31 blocks for the year. Smith had an impactful season with 287 kills, 25 blocks, and 51 digs. The right side will be supported by sophomore hitters Allison May (Louisville/St. Thomas Aquinas), Kail Nicholas (Milwaukee, Wis./University School of Milwaukee), Taylor Brown (Maple Heights/Maple Heights), Taylor Gimenez (Attica/Seneca East) and blocker Jessica Laney (Navarre/Fairless). Sam Pruett (Bolivar/Tuscarawas Valley) and Alexis Garrett (Mentor/Mentor) will look to provide versatility for the Yellow Jackets as they enter their sophomore campaigns at the utility position.
Sophomore Egan played a major role in the Yellow Jackets offense with a total of 900 assists and 45 kills. Libero Reinhard totaled 414 digs, 28 aces, and 41 assists. Whitehead chipped in with 55 blocks and 63 kills. Sophomore defensive specialist's Emily Moser (Durham, N.C/Cardinal Gibbons), Sydni Colchagoff (Findlay/Liberty-Benton), and Whitney Wallace (Salem/West Branch) look to dig up attacks for the Yellow Jackets defense this year.
Freshmen Ivy Earl (Howell, Mich.), Morgan Martin (Independence, Trinity), Morgan Mellinger (Akron, St. Vincent-St. Mary), Isabella Moskowitz (Brighton, Mich.), Kiely Taylor (Fremont, Old Fort), Cecelia Stebel (Union, Northmont), Madeline Bednar (Chagrin Falls, Kenston), Mary Zurbrugg (Alliance, Alliance), and Delilah Clinton (Mentor, Lake Catholic) will all bring competition to their respective positions.
BW opens its season in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on August 31 and September 1 when it competes in the 16th Annual Greyhound Premier Challenge hosted by Moravian College. The Yellow Jackets will also compete in two other invitational when they compete in the Brockport (N.Y.) University Invitational on Sept. 7-8 and the Nazareth (N.Y.) College Invitational on Sept. 14-15. BW opens OAC play on September 28 when it hosts Capital University.