Stevenson volleyball coach proud of what’s being built

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 14, 2018

 Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball coach Eric Wachterhauser looks on during a district playoff win. The Titans in 2018 won their first regional title since 1990.

Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball coach Eric Wachterhauser looks on during a district playoff win. The Titans in 2018 won their first regional title since 1990.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Shortly after his team’s 3-0 loss to Farmington Hills Mercy Nov. 13 in a Division 1 state quarterfinal, Sterling Heights Stevenson volleyball coach Eric Wachterhauser recognized that the loss stung, but he chose to focus on the big picture.

The Titans (44-10) had advanced to the program’s first state quarterfinal since 1990. Along the way, the team won a Macomb Area Conference White Division title and a district championship, too.

Getting to the state quarters wasn’t a shock for Wachterhauser, either.

“I was semi-retired. I came out of retirement to work with these players because I saw something in them,” said Wachterhauser, who just finished his first year with Stevenson. “We expected to be here. This is what we want for this program now and going forward.”

Mercy (39-2, at press time) never trailed in the match. The Marlins won 25-8, 25-17 and 25-14.

“We played against (Stevenson) twice this season, so we had an idea of what they like to do,” Marlins coach Loretta Vogel said after the match. “We knew what they were capable of. Our team did a fine job of playing a complete game tonight.”

Stevenson was seeking its first state semifinal appearance since 1988.

“A lot of the things we usually do really well, we didn’t do them well tonight,” Wachterhauser said. “We made a lot of small errors we don’t normally make. Our defense had been one of our strong points all season, and it wasn’t tonight. We just made a lot of unforced errors. Credit to Mercy — they played a great game.”

The Titans lose seven players to graduation, including captains Alexis Kopicki and Abbey Herrman. Stevenson has nine players eligible to return next season.

“We played tougher competition this season than Stevenson has played in a long time,” said Wachterhauser, whose team will move to the MAC Red in 2019. “We’re ready to be in these high-pressure, big-game situations. We’re going to continue to improve.”

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