The Eastlake Wolves volleyball team is led by senior outside hitter Lauren Martin, left, and junior outside hitter Anna Ilstrup, right. Former Eastlake assistant coach Mike Knapick (center) is in his first season leading the Wolves varsity program. Shaun Scott/staff photo

The Eastlake Wolves volleyball team is led by senior outside hitter Lauren Martin, left, and junior outside hitter Anna Ilstrup, right. Former Eastlake assistant coach Mike Knapick (center) is in his first season leading the Wolves varsity program. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Wolves are poised to dominate on the volleyball court

Eastlake is striving to return to the Class 4A state tournament this fall.

Last season was a magical one for the Eastlake Wolves volleyball program.

The Wolves, who captured eighth place at the Class 4A state tournament in November of 2017, are determined to replicate their success on the court during the 2018 campaign. Eastlake senior outside hitter Lauren Martin expects last season’s success to carry over. Thus far, the Wolves have compiled an overall record of 2-0 in early season action.

“We just want to use what we learned from last season for this season. I feel like that is a big aspect and we are going to put that into play in our games,” Martin said.

Martin isn’t worried despite losing eight seniors off of the 2017 varsity squad due to graduation this past June.

“We have a lot of great incoming juniors. Every girl on this team has their leadership roles, it’s not just the seniors,” Martin said.

Eastlake head coach Mike Knapick, who is in his first season as head coach after three years as an assistant, concurred with Martin’s assessment.

“While we have graduated a lot of players from last year, we have a lot of players who were on varsity who are still on the team. All of them exhibit different ways of leading, which is great for our team. It is great to coach so many players who are enthusiastic. They are willing to pick each other up and celebrate each other’s successes as much as their own.”

While Knapick is proud of what the Wolves accomplished last season, he said this year is a whole new year for his squad.

“While it’s nice to have that (state appearance) last year, we got to earn everything back again this year,” Knapick said.

Junior outside hitter Anna Ilstrup is one of the most boisterous players on the Wolves roster.

“I think I am very loud on the court. I’m good at communicating with my teammates. We all get along really well and work well together,” Ilstrup said.

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