By Chris Metcalf
Not just because her Lady Bulldogs, who are seeded second in Class B sectionals with an impressive 17-3 record have advanced to the semifinals after winning the LCAA D-I title.
She’s having a blast watching her girls enjoy one another, on and off the volleyball court.
“Winning is fun,” coach Hierlwimmer said. “It brings out the best in these athletes and the joy you see on their faces is the best. Everyone on our team is a big support system whether they are on the court or not, and that makes a winning team. This is definitely one of the most enjoyable years I’ve had in 17 years of coaching. I can’t wait to see what these girls can do in the semifinals.”
Livonia meets No. 6 Mynderse in Wednesday’s Class B semifinals at the Tom Downey Gymnasium in Livonia.
First serve will be at 6 p.m.
No. 1 Midlakes and No. 4 Hornell play in the other semifinal.
The two winners will meet Saturday at 1 p.m. in Bloomfield for the Section V block.
This year’s Lady Bulldogs’ roster consists of seniors Lillie Capecci, Hannah Ingram, Julie Renner, Ava Simmons, Morgan Meys, Avery Stahl, Caroline Cendoma, Megan Tumminelli, and Jenna Gorton; juniors Aubrie Albany, Eliza, Gillespie, and Isabel Burke, and sophomore Kiley Tumminelli.
This year’s squad is extremely balanced with several different players contributing in several important areas.
Ingram leads the team with 136 kills while Simmons is second with 107. Between the two of them, they average around 14 kills per game.
Capecci, who has 76 kills on the season, also has 171 assists, second behind Renner with 185 assists and 24 kills.
Ingram leads the team with 53 digs while Renner (32), Capecci (29), Cendoma (28) and Simmons (26) have combined for 115 digs.
Ingram, Simmons, Meys and Capecci all chip in leading the team in blocks this season.
Simmons averages nearly three blocks per game. Renner also leads Livonia in service aces.
“Hannah, Lillie and Julie have really made a huge impact on the court this year,” coach Hierlwimmer said. “Caroline is a strong presence on the court as well as Ava. All five of these girls have really become strong players and have improved in their roles from last year.”
Mynderse comes into the game with a 13-8 record competing in the Finger Lakes West, where they placed fourth with a 7-5 record in the division.
Hierlwimmer can’t wait for the first serve.
“The girls are very excited for our match-up at home Wednesday,” coach Hierlwimmer said. “Our team chemistry is one that you only get from one out of every ten teams you coach. The girls have been playing together all year round for the past four years. Lillie and Caroline have been on varsity since their freshman year (both starting) and the rest of the starting lineup has been on and starting since sophomore year. They not only get along on the court but off the court too. They like each other which makes for great team camaraderie. They support each other. The setters love when their hitter gets a kill and the excitement of picking up a dig from a hard-hit ball pumps them up.”
Lindsey Meys Photography