Despite falling short in 2019, volleyball optimistic

Thursday, Nov. 7 the Yellow Jackets season unfortunately came to an end during the OAC Tournament semifinal against #12 Ohio Northern University in four sets. After winning a close first set, Baldwin Wallace would drop the next three and Ohio Northern advanced to the championship game.

Though the season may not have ended like the Jackets had hoped, there was a lot of good to be taken away from this season. Kacie Ehinger came into her first season as the Jackets head coach following a successful four-year stint from Coach Carter that saw him garner five winning seasons, none of which saw his team with more than seven losses.

Ehinger made that transition look easy as the Jackets finished 2019 with a 23-6 overall record. To call their out-of-conference play dominant would simply be an understatement as they went 18-1 during that stretch preceding OAC play.

Though they struggled at first in-conference, the Yellow Jackets turned it around to finish the regular season hot and compiled an above .500 record in the always competitive OAC conference.

There were individual honors that went around the team as well. Three Yellow Jackets received All-OAC honors: Alexis Garrett (right side hitter), Kathleen Egan (setter), and Taylor Brown (middle hitter). Garrett, who was first-team All-OAC, set her career high in kills at 222 while also playing in 81 sets, also a career best. Egan finished second in the OAC with 1,034 assists, a mark which helped ascend her into sixth all time in Baldwin Wallace’s history. Brown’s hitting percentage of .327 was fifth in the OAC and she had two OAC Offensive Player of the Week Honors.

Off the court, the Yellow Jackets showed their ability in the classroom as well. The team had eleven players who earned All-OAC Academic Honors. Those players were: sophomores Madeline Bednar, Ivy Earl, Morgan Martin, Isabella Moskowitz, Cecilia Stebel, and Mary Zurbrugg; juniors Sydni Colchagoff, Allison May, Kail Nicholas, Sarah Reinhard; and senior Allyson Smith respectively.

After this successful season and a full season under Coach Ehinger’s belt, there is much reason for optimism moving forward. Allyson Smith is the lone senior graduating, meaning the Yellow Jackets are returning almost the same team they had this year. They have had five straight winning seasons and six seems like a legitimate possibility and with continued growth among this group, a run at an OAC title is in the realm of possibilities.