Expectations have changed for Coldwater volleyball.
“We’ve always had talent but we’ve pretty much been in the middle of the MAC – third or fourth – every year,” Cavaliers coach Mike Etzler said. “Finally, we have a program in place that can be a championship program.”
Coldwater earned a No. 1 ranking from the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association for the first time in program history this week. The Cavaliers, 10-0, are ranked first among Division III teams and received 11 first-place votes. Coldwater’s highest ranking last season was No. 17.
“No. 17 was a step in the right direction and this shows that we are where we need to be,” Etzler said.
Senior middle hitter Macy Reigelsperger leads the Cavaliers in kills and blocks while senior Kelsey Rammel, who made the transition from outside hitter to libero this season, leads Coldwater in digs.
But individual accomplishments aside, Etzler also credits the competitive Midwest Athletic Conference for some of the Cavaliers success.
“There is never an easy win, but that is especially true in the MAC,” he said. “You can’t take a single play off or you will lose the point. All of your weaknesses are exposed when you’re playing a MAC rival.”
Half of the 10 volleyball teams in the conference are ranked in the state this week. And the Cavaliers will soon face two of those teams with matches against Versailles and Marion Local next week.
“We always expect a battle whether we’re ranked or not,” Etzler said.
• Rankings roundup: The Cavaliers are just one of many local programs currently ranked among the top teams in the state.
Defending state champion Marion Local is the top-ranked Division IV team. Also earning spots in the first poll of the season are St. Henry (5), Fort Loramie (9), Jackson Center (13), Springfield Catholic Central (15) and New Bremen (19).
Joining Coldwater in Division III are Versailles (11), two-time defending state champion Miami East (12), Fenwick (16) and Anna (18).
Alter is ranked third among Division II teams while Kenton Ridge (10) and Ben Logan (16) are also ranked.
Only one area Division I team made the rankings as Lebanon is No. 7.
• Upcoming matchups: In a pair of conference showdowns, Alter will travel to Chaminade Julienne while Carroll hosts Fenwick on Tuesday.
In a battle of top-ranked teams undefeated Marion Local (8-0) will travel to Coldwater (10-0) on Thursday.
Miami East will host the Clash in Casstown with six teams from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky on Saturday.