BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — When Kate Owens and Camy Wedge stepped on the varsity volleyball court as freshmen and sophomores, the unquestioned leader of those teams was Brynn Brown. Last year, it was Jolie Sobb.
Now that both Brown and Sobb have transitioned to college volleyball, the time has come for the spotlight to shine directly on Wedge and Owens.
According to Maumee volleyball coach Lindsay Vannett, her two senior standouts are more than ready to shine in their final season for the Panthers.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of maturity, maturity that I’ve seen from them before but not in this way,” Vannett said. “It’s more of that adult-coach attitude.”
Wedge split time with Brown as the team’s setter for her first two seasons. Last year, though, Wedge took over the full-time setter duties – and she flourished. She led the team with 700 assists, while also coming up with 203 digs, 51 service aces, 46 kills and 21 total blocks.
For her career, Wedge is sitting with 1,502 assists and 566 digs.
“Camy knows she has some younger setters behind her and she’s helping train and work through things with them,” Vannett said. “She wants to leave a lasting mark on the program.”
Owens enters her fourth season as the Panthers’ primary middle hitter, but her career hasn’t been without change, either. As a freshman and sophomore, Owens was a three-rotation player — meaning she would play along the net but be subbed out in the back row.
That changed last year when she became a six-rotation player, seeing time at every spot on the court.
Owens upped her production in nearly every statistical category last year, setting career highs in kills (234), aces (42), digs (204) and serve-receiving (351 receptions). She also totaled 44 total blocks.
In her career, Owens has 538 kills and 177 total blocks.
“Kate’s Kate — she is a workhorse,” Vannett said. “She’s on the court, doing it, showing these girls, ‘Hey, even I’m not perfect. I have things I need to work on.’ She’s talking to them, showing them the things she needs them to do for her and the things she’ll do for them.”
Owens and Wedge recently committed to play college volleyball. Wedge is heading to NAIA school Spring Arbor, while Owens will attend NCAA Division II Tiffin University.
Vannett expects fellow senior Avery Lewis to announce her college choice soon as well, giving this senior class three volleyball players all headed to play at the next level.
“I want that to be an example of, ‘We’re at Maumee, we work our butts off. We’re Maumee athletes, and this is something that we can achieve,’” Vannett said. “I want that to be a goal rather than a scare tactic. It can be intimidating. It is unique to Maumee that we get three good-caliber athletes out of one program.
“I think other girls are taking note of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.”