By Gary R. Rasberry
ST. HENRY — Up until this season, Lindsay Hess has been quietly waiting in the wings as other great St. Henry hitters and setters received their opportunities to play at Division I colleges.
Now with her senior season done, Hess is joining the wagon train.
The reigning Midwest Athletic Conference player of the year will head east to Pittsburgh to attend Duquesne University.
“In my eight years as coach, this will be 11 Division I players,” said St. Henry coach Lori Schwieterman. “They’re all special, and Lindsay just adds to that list.”
One of the main reasons Hess is heading to Duquense is familiarity, former St. Henry teammate Diana Wuebker completed her sophomore season for the Dukes this past season and has been starter since her freshman year
“She was a lot of fun to play with and she said she likes it up there,” said Hess, who as of now is undecided on a major. “The campus is awesome, it’s like a small town around here.”
The Dukes, out of the Atlantic 10 Conference, already has a MAC connection spanning several years.
Head coach Steve Opperman is from the New Bremen area. In addition to Wuebker, who was fourth in the conference in blocks this past season, fellow St. Henry alum Jacqui Gerlach and former New Bremen star Jessica Eckert wore Dukes uniforms.
“Diana put in a good word for me when she got up there,” said Hess. “(Opperman) got into contact with me.”
The Dukes were 13-17 last season and 6-8 in the A-10. Hess will get the chance to get close to home during the season as the Dukes will make trips to conference foes Dayton and Xavier.
“It’s far enough, but it’s still close to home,” said Hess.
Hess took over the role as the big hitter after all six starters graduated last season. Hess took the role to heart and ended up fourth in the Grand Lake area in kills at 3.85 kpg. in the final rankings. Hess was also fourth in blocks at 2.45 bpg and led the area with a staggering 1.11 aces per game. Hess was named first team all-conference along with player of the year and was named first-team All-Ohio by the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association.
The Redskins made it back to the state final four for the first time in five years this season, losing in the state championship match to Centerburg to finish 27-2 and win the conference title for the 11th straight season.
I was nervous at the beginning of the year,” said Hess. “It all came together during the season.”(Continued from page 1B)
“She had to step up and be the leader. She was the only one who had any significant amount of varsity experience,” said Schwieterman. “To lead her team back to the state tournament when we haven’t been there in a few years says a lot about her. She did a fantastic job.”
Schwieterman thinks the Dukes have another quality player.
“Duquense has been good to St. Henry,” said Schwieterman. “Steve knows that we have a quality program where the girls work hard and they’ve earned. Lindsay earned it on the court. I couldn’t be happier for her.
“It’s a good fit for her. I think she’ll see a lot of playing time right off the bat. It’ll take some work. The college game is different from the high school game. She’ll have to pick it up a little, but I think she knows that and she is capable of doing that.”