South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Oakville girls volleyball starting 2022 season with high expectations bounce back this upcoming season

Team has several returning varsity players this season
Photo by Erin Ach
Several key returning players make the Oakville girls volleyball team one of the most talented in recent seasons.

As the 2022 season begins for the Oakville girls volleyball team, there is a sense of excitement in the air as to what this year’s team can accomplish.

“We’re really excited about what we have going on at Oakville,” head coach Lucas Allen said. “We have a good core of returning players and this is one of the years that we have the highest level of talent amongst all three teams.”

The Tigers will see senior Tess McConnell and junior Sammi Simokaitis at the middle blocker position this season. In 2021 McConnell led the Tigers with 242 kills and 64 blocks. Simokaitis was not too far behind McConnell with 154 kills and 49 blocks.

“Overall, Tess has improved her game quite a bit and we expect her to build on last year and have the same kind of success that she’s had in the past,” Allen said.

“Sammi balances out the front row for us and is a good compliment to Tess. She’s always talking, hustling and communicating on the court for us.”

At outside hitter for the Tigers in 2022 are junior Addie Czuppon and senior Lexi Rysanek. Last season Czuppon tallied 94 kills with 14 blocks. Rysanek saw limited action but did rack up 44 kills and 10 blocks for Oakville.

“It’s exciting to see how Addie has progressed in such a short amount of time and I can see that she’s already more confident in practice this year,” Allen said. “Lexi is a very versatile hitter and a very hard worker. We’re looking for her to definitely be more consistent for us this year.”

Senior Caitlyn Price will be Oakville’s defensive specialist this year after recording 79 digs in 2021.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how she’ll take on the back court defensive role this year,” Allen said. “She got some playing time last year and I’m excited to see how she’ll play this year.”

Senior Presley VanGaasbeek will see time at opposite hitter while sophomore Nina Cillo will take on the team’s setter role.

“Presley made a lot of huge strides last year and she’s more dynamic and has the ability to keep plays alive on the front row for us,” Allen said. “Nina’s location within her sets has improved drastically as she gets herself into position to make plays and get more out of a play for us.”

Oakville begins the 2022 season at home Aug. 26 against Cor Jesu with a 5:30 p.m. start.

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