COLERAIN, Ohio — Colerain girls volleyball coach Lindsey Dinkelacker can't say enough about coaching the Greater Miami Conference program.
"I have enjoyed coaching this talented group of girls so much over the past two years because I have seen them grow in many ways since our first practice two years ago," Dinkelacker said. "Being given the chance to coach a sport that has given me so much in life has been fun, but being able to give back to the sport that I love has been very rewarding."
Colerain (10-3, 2-3 Greater Miami Conference) has experienced its strongest start since the 2007 season, according to Dinkelacker and Colerain athletic director Craig Ulland.
Colerain is scheduled to play at Lakota East (4-8, 4-2 GMC) at 6 p.m. today.
"I think the key to this team's success has been them buying into my game plan from day one," said Dinkelacker, a former University of Cincinnati and Mother of Mercy High School standout. "They have never second guessed anything I have thrown their way."
Dinkelacker was the Colerain junior varsity coach in 2018 and assumed head coaching duties in 2019.
Starting with spring open gyms to summer conditioning, she emphasized competition in everything within the program along with a work ethic and a winning mentality.
"Other coaches, other teams' parents and school administrators can't believe how far the program has come the past couple of years, and the girls deserve all the credit," Dinkelacker said. "Their hard work and commitment to the program is paying off."
Colerain is led by several players, including two sets of sisters: juniors Abbey McNally and Kiley McNally; and senior Ana Lu Gehner and sophomore Grace Gehner.
Senior Taiah Pewett, juniors Rosie Beck, Chloe Block, Cheyenne Farmer, Lachelle Dixon along with sophomores Molly Spitzley and Kate White have also enjoyed the success.
“We feed off energy from the crowd,” Dixon told WeAreColerain.net.
Ulland also credited the coaching staff including assistant varsity coach Courtney Weinheimer, junior varsity head coach Emily Azzara and freshman head coach Emily Prasuhn for helping the program.
"I'm very proud of this group and what they have achieved so far," Ulland said. "We knew going into this season, this was going to be a big year for them. For everything that happened in the spring with schools being shut down, and the 'unknown' of the fall season that haunted us all summer long, I'm just so happy for them to be where they're at today, and to compete at a high level in the GMC. They've got something to prove."
Ulland said Dinkelacker has brought a significant amount of effort into the program the past few years and that has helped all the players.
"I know the girls are really enjoying the season, and I know they're happy to be playing," Ulland said. "It's exciting. I've gotten a lot of positive messages from parents and colleagues about the year they're having. We're reaching our capacity limits with our volleyball games; the atmosphere has been great even with all of the restrictions."