Of the many positive developments happening at Lakehead Athletics this year such as the hockey team's run to the Nationals, there is a special one I'd like to talk about – the success of the women's volleyball program under third-year Head Coach Kathy Clouthier and her fine staff of assistants.
The team ended up in fourth place in the OUA East and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1997-98. Lakehead co-captain and setter Erin Weir was named an OUA East First Team All-Star and Coach Clouthier was named OUA East Coach of the Year – both great individual accolades.
This year's team has been dubbed "the small but mighty Wolves" and it is a fitting name. The team was always at a height disadvantage when it played against much taller OUA opponents, but through talent, coaching strategy, and implementation of their game plan, the Wolves made themselves into a team to be reckoned with.
Lakehead was led by setter Erin Weir who was in the Top 20 in the OUA in three stats categories – assists, digs, and service aces. She is one of the best players in the OUA and her pinpoint passing has made the Wolves into a formidable unit on the court. Her passes go to players like Melissa Merilainen, who ranked 10th in the OUA in points per games (3.24) and sixth in kills (202).
Lindsey Johnson led the CIS and OUA in total digs (348) and digs per game (5.19). Freshman Ashley Baer was another favorite target for Weir's assists, and Baer has been a sensation with 139 kills, 196 digs, and 2.56 points per game. Amanda Henderson has 109 kills and 2.67 points per game. Other strong all-around players who helped in the team's success were Bri Bartlett, Chantelle Zanette, and Gabrielle Ladouceur. With only Henderson leaving the squad due to graduation, the future looks bright, indeed, for Lakehead volleyball.