Sporting WCA

2017 Volleyball Preview

With the girls volleyball season starting in a few days the Wildcats look to come out strong. Last year the Cats ended with a respectable record of 15-15, but setter Jordan Haeusser thinks the team can “definitely do better this year. We don’t have to do anything crazy, just focus on the fundamentals and do what it takes on our side of the court.”

The team has many new additions this year, and they are excited about every last one of them. To start, the team added Heidi Hightower, Hilary Hightower’s younger sister. Following in Hilary’s footsteps, Heidi is also a big outside hitter. She played phenomenally at the preseason Jamboree.

“She was unstoppable hitting,” said Senior captain Avery Engelmeyer, “and she’s just going to keep getting better.” The Hightower’s are just one pair of sisters on the team, along with the Williams’ and the Cunningham’s.

The Williams sisters have already put together an impressive resume. Sarah Elizabeth, the younger of the two, looks to make a bigger impact than she did last year. With more experience, strength, and confidence, that should not be a tall task. Her sister, Madeline, led the team in total kills and kill percentage. With 157 total kills, and converting of 28.3% of her attempts to points, she looks to be a contender for all-district team in the upcoming season.

Another set of sisters on the team are Evie Cunningham and Izzy Cunningham, also new pieces to Westminster’s volleyball team. Evie and Izzy both bring more height to the lineup, which the Wildcats already have so much of, making the group even stronger.

“They have great chemistry because they are sisters,” says Engelmeyer, “and they are going to be a big force this year.”

The two new defensive Wildcats for the girls volleyball team are Emily Penner and Rylie Koester. Koester transferred to WCA last year and was unable to play varsity, but she is looking to be a great help to the team this season. Emily Penner, while she is still new, will do her best to pick up every ball that comes her way, and make the biggest impact she can for the Cats.

The Wildcats have a number of returning seniors this year including Avery Engelmeyer, Jordan Haeusser, Hilary Hightower, Madeline Williams and Taylor Andrasko. Williams had a wonderful season in 2016, which was previously mentioned. While her stats were impressive, Avery Engelmeyer was not far behind. With 134 total kills and a 21.67 kill percentage, she also makes a viable case for the all-district team. Having played in nine less games than Williams, both of their kills per game stat are right at 2.3.

Also returning is setter Jordan Haeusser. She was a vital part of the team last year, assisting over 50% of the team’s kills. Haeusser also had an impressive 165 digs last season, and she hopes to bring that number up this year. Taylor Andrasko is another returning senior, and she is the ace for this team. With 204 total serves and only 8 errors, she leads the team completing 96% of her serves. Andrasko also had a good season defensively with 198 digs. The last returning senior is Hilary Hightower. Hilary led the team in blocks last season by a long shot with 55 in total. She also contributed with 117 kills and a 24.2 kill percentage. She looks to be another big front liner in Westminster’s stacked arsenal.

The squad’s first game is August 22nd at Ladue. Last year, the Wildcats played Ladue very close in a 2-1 win, pulling off the victory by a total of four points in their two game wins. Westminster’s girls volleyball team looks to replicate the victory on Tuesday, and stomp the Rams of Ladue in the process.