Coach: Bill Bonham, first season.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors Tessa Fuhrer (S); Alyssa Price (MH/OH); Annie Demith (DS); Jourdan Hoffman (S); Madison Williams (OH). Juniors Michaela Sharlow (DS/OH); Sydney Schank (OH); Haley Sendelbach (MH).
Others: Juniors Brandy Phillips (OH); Hailee Distel (OH). Sophomores Taylor Reinbolt (OH); Sydney Saum (DS).
Columbian Volleyball: (front, left) Jourdan Hoffman, Sydney Saum, Tessa Fuhrer, Michaela Sharlow, Taylor Reinbolt, Annie Demith, Brandy Phillips (back) Megan Simon, Hailee Distel, Madison Williams, Haley Sendelbach, Alyssa Price, Sydney Schank, Bill Bonham, Erin Patrizi.
Outlook: Last year Bonham's season ended at Wright State as he guided Buckeye Central to the state semifinals. This year he comes over to Columbian where there is a difference in the culture, which he's trying to change.
"Fundamentals and discipline," Bonham listed as the main things he's had to work on since coming over to Tiffin. "The difference here compared to Buckeye is, the kids at Buckeye are playing volleyball since first grade. Here there's a late start."
To make up the difference, Bonham said he team has spent a lot of practice time working simply on fundamentals and handling the ball.
"Just touch the ball as often as we can," he said. "We've had the luxury of our boosters stepping up and buying a ball machine. We do a lot of repetitive fundamental passing and getting touches in the gym.
"We have avoided a lot of team drills. We focused our summer on individual training. You gotta learn to walk before you learn to run. We've installed a lot of fundamental breakdown controlled training. The girls might think it's boring but it's paying off."
Bonham isn't the only transplant from the Buckeye Central Final Four team, as Williams also transferred to Tiffin for her senior year. She joins a senior class that Bonham will be looking to a lot on the court.
"There's five seniors; physically they need to step up a little more," he said. "You always expect more out of your seniors and it's no different with this class, there's talent there. We're going to look to Madison for a lot out on the court. Our setters have been doing a good job as leaders, which is what you want from your setters.
"We're going to look at our seniors first and we also got a pretty good junior class with talent. Haley and Michaela are a couple really good juniors with experience, they take care of things on the floor."
However, Bonham says there are a lot of talented underclassmen who will challenge for playing time.
"We have pretty big hopes, some really good freshmen and sophomores coming up that will get some time," he said. "Taylor Reinbolt is one we're pretty excited about. One thing we like about her is, she just plays; she's pretty care free. She loves being on the floor and playing the game, but is not reckless. She takes care of the ball and doesn't make mistakes. She gives us a spark in our defense."
There are still a few areas Bonham says need to be improved as the season goes on.
"Teamwork and talking," he listed. "Talent-wise, athletic-wise I'll put our kids up against anybody. Our kids are just as athletic as any team out there. We need to learn how to channel it and bring it all together. If we can channel that energy in the right direction, we'll get the results we're looking for.
"It's going to be an exciting year, because we're going to see growth every week, we're going to see improvement every week. We're not going to judge the season on wins. We're going to see individuals as well as the team improve as the season goes on. You're going to see a higher level of volleyball in the second half of the season compared to the first."