She was one of the best players in the conference throughout her career.
Nowadays, the Aurora volleyball team is adjusting to life without Morgan Copley.
The standout outside hitter and four-year varsity starter is now a member of Kent State University’s volleyball team.
The 2018 first-team all-conference front-row specialist wasn’t the only star to depart West Pioneer Trail.
Also graduating were middle hitter Brooke Besinger, a three-year starter, outside hitter Julia Robinson, a two-year starter, right-side hitter Grace Tutkovics, a two-year starter, and defensive specialist Katie Fisher.
Nonetheless, the cupboard is not bare at the school that makes its home near Route 82.
"We have a little bit of youth and veterans returning," said fourth-year head coach Tyler Price, who is 34-37 since he took over the Greenmen. "We have the perfect blend of veterans and youth."
Aurora finished 12-12 overall and 6-6 in the vaunted Suburban League American Conference last fall. Revere, which reached Division II regional play, won the conference title with a 12-0 record. Tallmadge was the runner-up with a 10-2 mark.
"You have to give a nod to Revere for what they did last season with their incredible winning streak," Price said. "Tallmadge did a great job and only graduated one or two players.
"Those two teams make up the top two teams to start the season since they've been toward the top the past couple of seasons."
The Greenmen’s lineup isn’t completely filled with new faces. Senior Kinze McWhorter returns after a strong 2018 season at middle hitter.
This year, McWhorter will be seen in a variety of places.
"Kinze will primarily be a six-rotation player who we move around the court," Price said.
Other key returnees include senior defensive players Izzy Zuckett and Brooke Dubensky, who were rotation players last season.
"Izzy and Brooke are expected to play multiple back-row positions," Price said.
Senior Maria Ferrante returns after spending time at right-side hitter last fall.
"Maria rotated last year and has really shown how reliable she can be this season," Price said.
Junior Maggie Bradley is expected to see some time at the setter position. She also hopes to make an impact elsewhere too.
"Maggie will spend time running the offense and some time in the front row, as well," Price said.
Two other returning players are sophomores Maria Parks, who is expected to be the starting libero, and Brooke Fishback, who plans to see time at setter and at one of the defensive-specialist spots.
Price is particularly enthused about three first-year varsity players. One of them can play just about anywhere.
Versatile sophomore Alyana Fromwiller will have a hard time staying off the floor, according to Price.
"Alayna is a very smart volleyball player with a good volleyball IQ," Price said. "She will spend time in all three front-row positions doing whatever the team needs her to do."
Sophomore Jordan Miller won’t be spending much time on the bench either. She will dazzle her teammates and opponents at either the outside-hitter or setter positions.
"Jordan is a freak athlete and I mean that in the nicest way possible," Price said. "She’s a player who is quick and has great leaping abilities. She will be mostly a pin hitter and serve as a backup setter."
Another sophomore who hopes to make an impact is middle hitter Lauren Vonderhaar, who gives Aurora some height in the front row.
"Lauren is a tall middle who is not afraid to go up against any other middle," Price said. "She is eager to learn and is always being aggressive. She looks to be a major player this season."
Price’s varsity assistant is Sarah Brown. The junior varsity coach is Sharon Durdel and Rachele Eckels will lead the freshman team.
The Greenmen are expected to experience their share of floor burns in 2019. Seeing a ball hit the floor won’t be tolerated if you play for Aurora.
"We plan on being very quick and athletic in both the front row and the back row," Price said. "We will have the mentality that nothing drops on our side of the court. We want to be a thorn in teams’ sides when we play."
The Greenmen are scheduled to open their 2019 season against Suburban League crossover rival Hudson Aug. 20 at home. Play is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.