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Volleyball: Hubs' Wallech, 'Cats' Wolff stay close to help HCC go far

January 30, 2013|By DANIEL KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • Peyton Wallech
Peyton Wallech

HAGERSTOWN — Peyton Wallech helped guide North Hagerstown’s volleyball team to two straight Maryland Class 3A state championships.

Now she wants to help Hagerstown Community College soar to new heights.

Wallech, the 2012 Herald-Mail Washington County Volleyball Player of the Year and three-time All-County first-team standout, signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to play for the Hawks beginning this fall.

“We’re very excited. This is very big for us,” HCC coach Ann Reynolds said.

It’s arguably the biggest signing for the Hawks since Magda Tekiel joined HCC as a freshman in 2007 and earned first-team NJCAA All-American honors while leading the nation with 5.49 kills per set. The Hawks finished seventh at that year’s NJCAA Division II national tournament, their best finish ever.

Wallech is the first Herald-Mail player of the year to sign with HCC since Lindsey Plotner, the 2003 award winner who helped Williamsport win two Class 1A state titles. Plotner ultimately helped the Hawks reach the quarterfinals at the 2005 nationals, earning All-American honors.

Wallech said she had offers from four-year programs, but ultimately felt most comfortable beginning her college career and education at home.

“I’m not sure I was completely comfortable going away for my first year,” Wallech said. “A lot of people overlook HCC, but this is a great opportunity and, I think, the best opportunity for me.

“I’m really excited to come here. I want to make myself a better player and help the team be better.”

Wallech, a middle hitter, will step into the spot held last year by sophomore Elisa Manning, a 2011 Catoctin graduate who earned All-American honorable mention after averaging 3.40 kills and 1.64 blocks per set.

“She’s going to play a key role for us, losing Elisa,” Reynolds said.

Wallech averaged 5.16 kills, 0.98 blocks and 2.44 digs per set for the Hubs last season. Over her final three seasons at North, she had 669 kills (3.78 per set) and 154 blocks (0.87 per set).

* Williamsport senior Haley Wolff, a Herald-Mail All-County second-team honoree, also signed with HCC on Wednesday.

Wolff, an athletic outside hitter, averaged 1.46 kills per set last season for the Wildcats, who won the Maryland Class 2A state title.

“The intensity we played with (at Williamsport) will carry over here. It was so intense there,” Wolff said. “The key for me is just to work on improving.”

Reynolds sees plenty of untapped potential in Wolff.

“We’re really excited to get Haley. She’s powerful, so she’ll be another solid player for us.”

The Hawks are losing sophomores Manning, Emmalyn Stahl, Paige Kitchen and Victoria Broadwater from last season’s squad that went 24-5 and won the Region XX tournament to qualify for nationals for the 10th straight year and the 19th time in 22 years. Returning in the fall are setters Callie Butts and Summer Neff, middle hitter Kelsey Koontz and defensive specialists Tiffany Rohrer and Erika Lawrence. Reynolds hopes to add a couple more recruits soon.

“I’ll have to wait until fall (to see them all play together), but it will be exciting,” Reynolds said. “I can’t wait.”

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