Grandview Heights Roundup: Hannah Yochem finds second passion on volleyball court

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Grandview senior Hannah Yochem sends the ball over the net during a match at Worthington Christian on Sept. 29. A three-year starter in basketball, Yochem has found a second passion in volleyball as her skills and knowledge of the game have improved.

After starting at point guard in basketball for the last three seasons, Hannah Yochem is coming into her own with the Grandview Heights girls volleyball program.

Although volleyball had been an afterthought to Yochem, the senior has come to find a passion for the sport that was normally reserved for basketball.

“I definitely put more time in for basketball, but volleyball is a sport that I enjoy and I like to go with the flow,” Yochem said. “The team chemistry has been great over the years, and it’s been fun to be with my teammates.”

The Bobcats were 13-6 overall and 6-4 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Bexley on Oct. 8. Last season, they finished 12-11.

“(Second-year) coach (Nick) Rose has done a phenomenal job,” Yochem said. “I’ve played volleyball for years, but I never really understood it until he came here. He showed me how to play the game and how to improve the way I play.

“In my freshman and sophomore years I was hitting one kind of set ball, which was from the outside. When he came in, he brought in the ‘3-ball,’ which is middle and then the ‘5,’ which is from the outside. He really has expanded my knowledge not only of the game but what I can do personally. He’s really helped everyone in the program and has helped get us back on track.”

Last winter in basketball, Yochem led the Bobcats in scoring (16.3 points), steals (2.1) and assists (1.9) en route to earning honorable mention all-state, second-team all-district and first-team all-league honors. 

Through 19 matches this fall, the outside hitter led Grandview in kills (273) and digs (172) and had 38 aces and nine blocks.

“Passing has been my biggest improvement,” she said. “I’m not the tallest person (5-foot-8) but my legs are long, and I could never get passing down.

“I started to get that doing my junior year, and I’ve always played all around the court. This year I think I’m one of the leaders in digs, which is a big improvement for this year.”

Rose said he has enjoyed watching Yochem reach her potential on the volleyball court and as a leader.

“Last year she started learning more about the game, and that’s helped her become a better leader,” he said. “She’s cut down on her errors tenfold.

“Hitting has always been her strength, but she’s dramatically improved defensively. She leads the team in digs, and she also blocks well. We always knew she was a good hitter, but she’s improved in all parts of her game.”

Another three-year starter from basketball is Rachel Hartman, a 6-0 middle blocker in her first year playing volleyball. Yochem helped her get acquainted with the sport.

“My vertical in volleyball comes from basketball,” Yochem said. “Rachel told me that she didn’t really know how to hit, so I said to her that she had to go up like it was a layup. You have to get your vertical like you were shooting a layup and hit the ball instead of shooting it in the basket. That helped her a lot.”

Before playing Bexley, the Bobcats had won seven of eight matches. They have been more consistent lately as the team’s large group of freshmen has become more comfortable at the varsity level. Grandview has eight freshmen on the roster, and only seven combined from the other three classes.

“We have more freshmen than any other grade and getting that experience took some time,” Yochem said. “As the year went on and we started winning matches, we got our team chemistry down and I really think that prepared the freshmen. It showed them that we can be prepared and we can be good. They have really stepped up.”

Yochem has found success in basketball, volleyball and even track and field, but doesn’t plan to play varsity sports in college. She has a 3.6 GPA and would like to attend Ohio State to major in business and sports management before going to law school.

“I wanted to go to a big school,” she said. “If anything I might do club volleyball or basketball to stay busy. I’ve been going all these years playing sports. It’s probably going to be hard to completely stop.”

Boys golf team

competes at district 

The boys golf team finished sixth in the Division III district tournament Oct. 8 at Denison Golf Club, ending its season.

The Bobcats shot 394 as champion Newark Catholic (329) advanced to state. Medalist Carsten Judge (69) of Wellington was the individual state qualifier.

Senior Brendan Cleary (86) and sophomore Colin Cleary (87) led the Bobcats, followed by sophomore Ian Roediger (108), junior Jack Greer (113) and sophomore Jacob Larson (117).

Colin Cleary (honorable mention all-MSL-Ohio) shot 79 and was runner-up to medalist Judge (73) in a sectional Sept. 29 at Darby Creek. The Bobcats were sixth (370) to earn final district-qualifying spot.

Coach James Gerdes and the Grandview boys soccer team were 7-3-4 before playing Lynchburg-Clay on Oct. 10.

DeVere, Iisaka lead

boys soccer team

Will DeVere and Kai Iisaka led the boys soccer team in scoring through 14 games.

DeVere had seven goals and two assists and Iisaka had four goals and five assists.

for the Bobcats, who were 7-3-4 overall before playing Lynchburg-Clay on Oct. 10. 

They also are 3-2 in the MSL-Ohio. 

Adam Bechtel had five goals and two assists, and Danny Claypool and Keegan Kearney both had four goals and two assists. Goalie Owen Carter had 70 saves and six shutouts, including three in a row before facing Lynchburg-Clay.

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BOYS GOLF

MSL-Ohio standings: Columbus Academy (12-0), Bexley (9-3), Worthington Christian (6-6), Buckeye Valley (3-9), Wellington (1-4), Grandview (0-9)

Senior lost: Brendan Cleary

Key returnees: Colin Cleary, Jack Greer, Nick Hayes, Jacob Larson and Ian Roediger

Postseason: Sixth (370) at sectional behind champion Worthington Christian (330), sixth (394) at district behind champion Newark Catholic (329)