The Gardner Edgerton High School Lady Blazers volleyball team will have a new coach when the season begins Aug. 31 against Bishop O’Hara.
Erica Cowhick replaces long-time coach Darrel Wait and inherits a team that placed third in the 6A state tourney last year.
Cowhick graduated from Shawnee Heights High School in Topeka and made the all- state volleyball team in 2002-2003 season and was Kansas 5A Player of the Year in 2003.
She attended Washburn University from 2004-2007 and was all-conference and all-region player in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
She holds the Washburn all-time dig record and is second on the all-time dig record in the MIAA conference.
Cowhick previously coached at Seaman high school in Topeka from 2008-2011 leading the team to three state appearances.
In 2008, Seaman finished third in 5A state, and she was named Centennial League Coach of the Year. In 2009, Seaman finished third in 5A state, and Cowhick was coach of the year. The Seaman program received top state honors as well.
In 2011, Seaman finished fourth in 5A- state, and Cowhick was Centennial coach of the year.
She was also an assistant coach at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, in 2011.
Cowhick will have one returning starter in senior Jill Starling. Starling was a second team All-Eastern Kansas League performer last year.
Cowhick has high expectations for new starters, Michaela Serrioz, senior setter; senior outside hitter Alex Bangert; senior libero Lexi Naegele; and senior middle hitter Hannah Culbertson.
“We are looking for some of our younger players to step up”, said Cowhick. “We have been working hard daily to fill new positions. We have a tough schedule, and it’s important to be competitive in every match we play.”