Oakville volleyball entering 2021 season with high expectations bounce back this upcoming season

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By Stephen Glover, For the Call

The Oakville girls volleyball team enters the 2021 season with high expectations with seven returning varsity players that helped the Tigers to a record of 12-2 and a trip to the Missouri Class 5 state sectional game in 2020.

“We are looking pretty good,” Oakville head coach Lucas Allen said. “We have seven returning varsity players so it’s a good group to start with. I definitely think we have a good chance to go past districts again this year.”

Senior setter and right side hitter Liv Klump returns to the Oakville lineup after leading the Tigers with 29 aces and 203 assists last season.

“Liv’s ball control has improved a lot over the past year,” Allen said. “When she touches the ball, it’s right on target.”

Another senior that will also play setter and right side hitter is Lindsie Miller, who racked up 23 aces, 174 assists and 56 kills during the 2020 campaign.

“This is the second year that Lindsie has been setting for us,” Allen said. She’s got a smart head on her shoulders and knows where to run the offense when needed.”

At outside hitter for the Tigers is senior Gracie Miller. Last season Miller tallied 21 aces, 80 kills and seven blocks for Oakville.

“Gracie is a very consistent attacker for us,” Allen said. “She places the ball well and having her in the serve receive role does wonders for us.”

Senior Ally Williams will see action at libero once again this season after recording 261 digs in 2020.

“You can put Ally in and know that she’s going to be everywhere on the court,” Allen said. “She runs the back row really well for us.”

Also playing in the back row for the Tigers is senior defensive specialist Erin Herberholt. In just 14 games during the 2020 campaign, Herberholt recorded 20 digs.

“Erin is by far the heart and fire on this team,” Allen said. “She’s very focused and pushes all of the girls to play better.”

Junior Tess McConnell will take on the middle hitter duties again this season after leading Oakville with 21 blocks while also racking up 97 kills in 2020. Sophomore Sami Simokaitis will also see action at the middle hitter position after seeing action in 32 games as a freshman.

“I expect both of them to be loud and run the offense from the front row,” Allen said. “They’re going to set the pace for our offensive attack day in and day out.”

The Tigers open up the 2021 season at home against Eureka on Sept. 1.