Sports Talk: MHS volleyball team ‘aces’ on and off court

In prep volleyball, like in any sport, there’s all kinds of statistics – kills, assists, digs, and aces to name a few.

Even though it’s earned off the court, the most important “stat” is Grade Point Average (GPA), and the Marietta High net team excels in that category.

There are 19 varsity and JV players in the Lady Tigers VB program, and the average GPA is 3.76, according to sixth-year head coach Ron Kidder.

“This is a really smart team with an excellent group of parents,” Kidder said. “The kids study and do their school work.

“They’re successful on the court and off it – and that’s something to be proud of.”

On the floor, Marietta enjoyed another solid season, finishing runner-up to Dover in the East Central Ohio league with a 14-9 overall record. The Tigers bowed out in the opening round of the Ohio Division I sectional tournament when they were swept by host Uniontown Lake in mid-October.

Considering Marietta graduated five top-notched student-athletes the year before in Kaitlyn Cozzens, Lexi Walsh, Kristen Hill, Haley Bonar, and Kourtney Crum, the Tigers came together pretty nicely as a team as the campaign progressed.

Dover, incidentally, advanced to the Division II Final 4 at Wright State University, where it’s scheduled to play Kettering Archbishop Alter in a semifinal Friday at 6 p.m.

Kidder said the Lady Tornadoes are a veteran, senior-oriented squad.

“They’ll be graduating quite a few people,” the MHS boss continued.

Marietta, on the otherhand, will be graduating only two – Gracie Haas and Jennifer Hefter – in the spring of 2014.

The 2013 Tiger varsity also included Shannon Haessly, Megan Broughton, Lain Weppler, Chrystal McCoy, Mattie Miller, Abby Harrison, Holly Hutchison, Hannah Grosel, and Kenzi Hall, who also played some JV.

The MHS varsity compiled an 3.8 GPA, and of those players, five were 4.0 or better.

Recently, the All-East Central Ohio League volleyball teams were announced, and Haas and McCoy made the first squad.

Weppler was a second-team honoree, and Broughton was an honorable mention.

The Sandra Goin-coached JV team wasn’t too far behind the varsity with a 3.7 GPA.

Marietta’s JVs featured Autumn Benton, Amber Brooks, Lauren Delong, Rachael Dunbarger, Alexis Lincoln, Katie McClead, Alexis Plazzo, Erica Roberts, and Hall.

“You have to be smart and disciplined to play the game,” Kidder said. “And the girls in our program are.

“When they’re not playing, they’re home studying. They definitely have their priorities where they need to be.”

Kidder paused.

“I’ve been very blessed to have a group of girls like this,” he said. “I’m proud of what they do on the court, but more proud of them for what they do off it.”

Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at