Elder Volleyball

Elder volleyball has maintained a high reputation throughout the past few years. However, the past two years have been a bit of a drought. With a state championship earned in 2010, the bar was set high. In the most recent two years, Elder was a strong team and without a doubt had a lot of potential. A rival has stood in the way of Elder and the state tournament two years running. That rival is none other than the bombers of St. Xavier. In 2011 and 2012, Elder faced St. X in the regional championships and has lost both years. Senior RJ Albers, however, has different plans for this year. After being pulled up to varsity sophomore year to replace an injured player, RJ has taken volleyball much more seriously. “I’ve become very passionate about volleyball since sophomore year, and I want to win a state championship this year more than anything.” RJ continued to elaborate on his love for volleyball and how much it would mean to him if the program won a state title in 2013. “All of my hard work would finally feel like it has paid off.” The determination of Albers definitely speaks for the entire Elder volleyball community. Lastly, I asked RJ who the competition for this year would be in his opinion. “As always, Moeller…and Hilliard Darby will also be a pretty tough match –up as well.” For those who don’t know, Hilliard Darby is a school in Columbus, and after hanging up a flag in Elder’s volleyball gym last year, a rival of Elder volleyball. After Moeller’s state championship win last year, nobody in the GCL south wants Moeller to prevail again and win back-to-back state titles. Even more motivation has come from Moeller’s state championship win in football this year. Anthony Stacklin, starting outside hitter for the Panthers last year, also had something to say about the Panthers’ upcoming season. “I think that we’re going to have a really solid team this year and I’m hoping we can make a state run.” “I think that Moeller isn’t as good as they think they are and everyone is expecting them to be,” Stacks replied when asked about Moeller. He seems to have high expectations for this year’s team and is hoping to come out on top. Stacklin not only has high expectations, but also has a lot of faith in his team. “I think that anything other than winning the state title this year will be a letdown for me and for the team.” Obviously, Stacklin and Albers both have high expectations for the team this year, especially the seniors. Other returning seniors include Henry Voellmecke, Jeff Harpenau, and Joe Sansone. With only five returning seniors, the Elder volleyball program may seem to be struggling for leadership. However, the seniors are determined to lead the team to victory. As a shorter squad this year, the 2013 Elder volleyball program will be relying heavily on defense. Stacklin and Albers both agreed that the key to a state title this year is the defense. Hopefully this year the Panthers “d-up” and find themselves back in the state tournament after two dry years.