Fresh off of a painful 2007 season that saw them licking their wounds to the tune of an 0-14 mark at the merciless hands of their Suburban Lakes League opposition, the Woodmore Wildcats volleyball program went on the prowl this off-season and hired former veteran Whitmer freshman volleyball coach Julie Odenweller.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to be coaching this talented group of athletes,” praises an optimistic Coach Odenweller.
Odenweller inherits eight experienced letter winners and seven key seniors to make her first year gig of building a quick, proven winner a little easier. The coach also brings to the bench four solid years at the helm of Whitmer’s freshmen team in the Toledo City League, two years of building up its junior high program, and four additional years of coaching volleyball at the club level, “because we have a nice group of varsity players who are ready, and wanting to prove themselves to the rest of the SLL, and our opponents can expect us to be more competitive and tougher this year, as we’re going to be a team that gets better week by week.”
“I am anxious to watch our senior players emerge as leaders,” she adds thoughtfully. “We have been working hard, and are ready to start the season well-conditioned and ready to compete.”
Among those key seniors Odenweller is hoping will instill Woodmore’s brand-new mantra of “Play Hard Every Game, and Always Play to Win” are scrappy, 5-8 Honorable Mention All-SLL/All-District middle front battler Megan Bitter.
Though looking to help her “Restore the Roar” will be fellow middle front force and senior Erin Pendleton, who just may be one step away from All-SLL accolades in 2008 herself; senior right front Kaylee Paul, who is this team’s setter; left siders Tiffany Keaton and Rachel Bouldin, who are battle-tested seniors; and senior serving ace Erika Avers.
Odenweller gives a glowing review of at least two young Wildcats who are making a mark for themselves by pushing the seniors to be even better in practice. Junior Elisha Stone, who at the setter position is almost like the team’s back-up quarterback, and perhaps Odenweller’s most cerebral player; and 5-10 super-sophomore Audrey Thorbahn, an exciting, young prospect whom the Lady Cats are expecting big things from as she steps up into the front row this year.
“We are not settled on a starting lineup yet,” allows Coach Julie, “but the seniors will have an advantage when it comes to playing time because of their experience. Every player on our team is important to our success. Right now, the hardest game on our schedule is the first one against Lakota. But my expectations are high for all of my players.”