Woodlan volleyball builds to ACAC championship

October 9, 2023



The road to Woodlan volleyball team’s Allen County Athletic Conference championship can best be described as a grind.

“We were in the gym so all summer long,” senior outside hitter Lauren Snyder tells PSM. “ We knew this was our shot this year, and we worked as hard as we could for it.” Snyder finished the regular season with 384 kills.

Woodlan (24-5) won its first six matches, conceding just two sets in that time frame. The Warriors  pushed through five-set wins over Leo, at Adams Central and at South Adams. Those close victories propelled Woodlan to an undefeated slate  in the ACAC (7-0)and their first regular season league title since 2011 [Woodlan won the ACAC Tournament in 2012].

“It’s been exciting to see the growth,” second-year head coach Jerrid Rydell says. “We’ve got really good kids, which makes my job way easier. And they’re really good at volleyball, which helps!”

Anchored by nine seniors, the Warriors have firmly established themselves as conference contenders the last few years. The Warriors were 19-11 in 2022 and 22-8 in 2021.

Woodlan volleyball celebrates the team's first ACAC championship since 2011
(photo courtesy Woodlan Athletic Boosters)

“It’s been great being able to come together at those really important moments,” senior outside hitter Marissa Smith beams. “We all get along so well. It really shows on the court. The way we play together as a team and encourage each other and helping us push through.” Marissa recorded 229 kills this season, so far.

Now, the focus turns to the postseason and one of the toughest sectionals in the state: Sectional 21 at Angola in Class 3A. Woodlan faces Leo in the first round (7:30 p.m. Thursday) after splitting the two meetings in September. The sectional also features NECC champion #3 Angola, SAC champion #8 Bishop Dwenger, #10 Concordia, Heritage and Garrett.

“It’s a great team. We have a lot of fun together,” senior Piper Clear reflects. “I hope that we left a good example for the underclassmen. That they’re able to push through and take our advice and work hard just to keep the reputation going.”

Woodlan is one of 31 high schools that partner with PSM for athletic training, strength & conditioning, nutrition, athletic rehab and other expert care that wins for Warrior student-athletes.

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