CENTREVILLE — It might be Deric Mostrom’s first year as a head varsity coach, but the Centreville alumnus is no stranger to the volleyball program.
Mostrom takes over for Melissa Gales after serving as her varsity assistant for the past seven years. Gales, who began a new teaching position in Sturgis, is now serving as the Lady Bulldogs’ freshman coach.
Mostrom also previously coached at two different club levels. During his college days at Ferris State University, Mostrom played college club volleyball. He was injured his senior year and decided to stay with the team where he got his first experience in coaching. He has also coached for the St. Joseph Valley Volleyball Club the past three years with the 18U club teams as well as a couple 14U and 16U Club teams.
“Coaching club has been fun because I have been given the opportunity to coach some of our counties top talent,” Mostrom said.
Centreville finished 34-14-5, including a 3-2 conference record in the BCS for third behind Bronson and Mendon. The Lady Bulldogs captured the school’s first district title in volleyball since 1996 before losing in the regional to Kalamazoo Christian.
Centreville lost two quality seniors off that ball club in hitter Hannah Marchand and setter Skyler DeMeyer.
Marchand was the BCS League MVP and was selected to the All-State team. DeMeyer was All-Conference honorable mention.
Centreville’s top returner is junior Samara Schlabach who was selected All-State honorable mention.
Other key returnees include seniors Carlee Odom, Kalee Schrock, Kayla Jepsen and Sara Lewis, along with junior Logan Jourdan.
“This is the first time in a long while that we have had this large of a senior class of volleyball players. These seniors have played a lot of volleyball together and I am looking to them for consistency and good leadership,” Mostrom said.
Odom is a hitter.
“Carlee has worked hard and her improvement with timing and consistency is going to make her a force. With her experience, I am looking to play her all the way around as she is great on anticipation and able to pick up those tough balls from hitting the floor,” Mostrom said.
Schrock’s role as an all-around player will change this season as she is being moved to the setter’s position.
“Kalee’s consistency as a player has helped her become a dynamic part of our offense and defense. We are bringing her back into the setter position this year and I look forward to watching her run a dynamic offense,” Mostrom said.
Jepsen will see time in the front row.
“We hope to surprise some teams with Kayla’s ability to be a dynamic player at the net this year. With her jumping ability and experience playing the game, I will look to her to be a force at the net in both hitting and blocking,” Mostrom said.
Sara Lewis will play libero.
“Sara will be our anchor as libero. Seeing what it takes to get to the next level as a team, we have to have tight, consistent passing and I am confidence she will do that. She has also worked hard on her serve and back row attacks,” Mostrom said.
Schlabach will also be a go-to hitter.
“Samara will be counted on for her hitting and her setting abilities as well. She has a nice set of hands and I am looking forward to her consistency as a setter. She will be a huge part to our success and she has worked hard to fulfill that role,” Mostrom said.
Please see Friday's Commercial-News print or e-edition for the full article.