By: Nate Calvin
STRYKER – With a dig in the third set of the Panthers match at Wauseon on September 26 Stryker senior volleyball player Sage Woolace reached 2,000 career digs, the first player to do so in Stryker history.
Woolace had reached the 1,000-dig mark back in 2020 during her sophomore season.
Woolace, who didn’t start playing competitive volleyball until the 7th grade, has enjoyed plenty of success in her four years on the court for Stryker.
In 2019 as a freshman, she was 2nd team BBC and District 7 honorable mention and the last two seasons she has been 1st team BBC, 1st team District 7 and a BBC Scholar Athlete.
“Sage has the natural instinct to put herself in the best position to set up her teammates for success”, said Alexa Moore, who is in her fourth season as head coach.
“Whether it be laying herself out to get the pass or hustling after a ball to bring it back in play, Sage always gives 100% of herself to her teammates.”
“Sage has spent countless of hours in the gym working on volleyball whether it be during season or in the summer, many times staying after to have me hit balls at her so she can work on her ability to read a hitter”, added Moore.
“The team is Sage’s #1 priority, and many times in between sets on hard games, Sage asks what she can do better to make sure her teammates are getting set up the best they can.”
Moore also spoke about the improvements she’s seen in Woolace during her career. “Sage has grown tremendously over the past four years, both on and off the court.”
“Not only has her ability to read a hitter improved tremendously, but her ability to adjust to anything needed has greatly improved.”
“She can correct herself and knows what she needs to do to get the pass. She is a leader on the court and the girls lean on her leadership a lot.”
“This accomplishment just helps to show me that the endless hours of working on my passing skills and just volleyball skills in general has paid off”, said Woolace when speaking about what this accomplishment means to her.
“I am very lucky to get to play volleyball. I know some people are not as fortunate as me and so when I step on that court, I play for those who wish they could put on that jersey.”
Woolace also plays basketball, softball, runs track and is involved with cheerleading and dance. Academically, she is on student council, FFA, Spanish Club, Art Club, and National Honors Society.
Woolace is quick to point out how her family, which includes Dawn Woolace (mom), Eric Woolace (dad), and brothers Payton and Brannan, has helped in reach this milestone.
“My family is the most supportive family I could ever ask for. My dad especially has always pushed me to work hard and go after my dreams”, said Woolace.
“I have always admired how hard he works every day and strive to have that same drive he has. That’s who I get my work ethic from. I would not be who I am today without all of them.”
Woolace takes away several things as her volleyball career winds down. “I will take away the endless life lessons being in a high school sport has taught me.”
“Nothing will ever get better than playing the sport you love with the people you love. But all good things must come to an end eventually.”
“I would tell young players that It doesn’t matter if you are the most skilled player, it matters that whenever you step onto that court you play with all of your heart.”
After graduating, Woolace plans to attend college and study early childhood education.
Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org