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West Delaware’s 2019 varsity volleyball team: front from left, Aleah Heims, Lauren Hoefer, Alivia Schulte, Miah Winkowitsch, Ella Koloc, Sydney Morris, Heather Heims, Claire Ridenour and Katie Crock; back row, Gracee Brooks, Morgan Collier, Carlee Smith, Macey Kleitsch, Ava Hauser, Allison Collier, Kinley Kolbet, Leah Wegmann and Kayla Felton.

After a 33-11 season and a berth in the Class 4A State Volleyball Tournament in 2018, West Delaware returns five starters, including first-team all-state setter Macey Kleitsch, to a 2019 season that is filled with promise.

Kleitsch, one of the premier players in the state, averaged 8.67 assists per set last year, and was a force at the net as well, averaging 1.67 kills a set, in addition to 2.89 digs.

The Hawks return a solid group of hitters, with outside Allison Collier pounding down 179 kills in 2018 (1.67 per set), while middles Ava Hauser (143 kills) and Kinley Kolbet (107 kills) give Kleitsch plenty of options.

“We are very inexperienced with the outside hitters and very good in the middle attack position,” said Hawk coach Brett Mather.

West Delaware is known for its back row play, and sophomore Ella Koloc returns to lead the Hawk defense after a 2018 season where she had 430 digs for an average of 3.93 a set.

“We have some great defenders in the back row,” said Mather. “We are still looking for others to step up and fill some voids.”

Some of those voids will be filled by senior Sydney Morris, junior Heather Heims, sophomore Carlee Smith and freshman Alivia Schulte.

Another tough WaMaC Conference and weekend tournament slate awaits, but if history is any indicator, look for the Hawks in Cedar Rapids this November.