IAC VOLLEYBALL: WAVERLY'S MEYERS BELIEVES 'YOUNG AND HUNGRY' LADY WOLVERINES WILL PREVAIL IN 2021 (18 PHOTOS) (2021-09-07)
By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
WAVERLY — Second-year coach Charity Meyers will turn to some young new faces in 2021, but that hasn’t tempered her expectations for the Lady Wolverines.
(Waverly opens the 2021 season tonight at O-M.)
“I expect our team to qualify for the Sectional playoffs.
“This team is meshing better than any other team I’ve ever had. They get along, they work hard, and they are very hungry,” said Meyers.
“I don’t feel like this team has any fear in them. We are young, but I think that might help them — they’re not afraid of playing Tioga or Edison,” Meyers added.
Meyers, who notes the Lady Wolverines have 10 players on varsity and 13 on JV, said she not only had to replace her graduating seniors, but two she wasn’t expecting — all-star setter Aryan Peters, who graduated early, and another starter who chose not to play.
“I’m excited about our youth,” she said. “They’re playing well right now, and I have at least two more years with most of these kids.
“These girls starting playing together as 7th- and 8th-graders on our 16U travel team, and they held their own,” she noted. They’ve been playing at a higher level.
“Every time I do something that pushes them, they step up and do it,” added Meyers.
Junior Michaela Lauper will start at setter for the Lady Wolverines.
“She’s very vocal, and a great leader,” said Meyers.
Senior Sydney Nierstedt and freshman Lillie Kirk will start at the outside hitter positions. Senior Liz Goodman will also see time there.
“Lillie keeps getting better and better,” said Meyers. “She’s fun to watch and a powerhouse.”
Sophomores Payton Shaw and Peighton Streeter will man the inside hitter positions.
“Payton Shaw is an athlete, and picks things up very quickly,” said Meyers.
Sophomore Erica Ryck will play right-side hitter, and sophomore Mia Bakley will play libero.
Eighth-grader Brilynn Bellis and first-year senior Derek Bartlett will be defensive specialists
“(Bellis) will play in the back row, but she can play anywhere,” said Meyers. “She’s going to be very good.”
Meyers is pleased with her team’s progress in the preseason.
“Our biggest strengths is our team chemistry, and the fact this team is young and hungry.
“Sometimes as kids get older, they lose interest or find other interests,” said Meyers. “But, these kids just want to play, and they want to win.
AROUND THE IAC SOUTH
“Thomas Edison is always an all-around team, and the team to beat in our division,” said Meyers.
“Newark Valley lost a pair of key players, but still has good size.
“Tioga and Candor are the teams to beat in the Small School,” added Meyers.
IN PHOTO 1: Waverly coach Charity Meyers, Liz Goodman (left) and Peyton Shaw (right). … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.