The trio of Griffons paves the way for the future

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The 2021 season has been one of growth for the Father McGivney Griffins.

With the FMCHS losing just one starter at the end of the 11-23 season, the Griffins will be led by Sam Oller, Aislin Hall and Madeline Hylla going forward after all three flourished in 2021.

For their roles in the rebuilding season, all three players share the title of Intelligentcer MVP for little schoolgirl volleyball.

“We’re a pretty balanced team,” said FMCHS coach Jake Williams. “Last season we had the luxury of having some good young kids to ourselves.”


Williams has been the freshman coach for the past three years and has helped former head coach Paul Vieth with junior college and college when he could. Williams will enter the 2022 season as the college’s head coach.

“We have such a talent surplus considering the small size of our school,” Williams said.

That talent includes Hall, the captain of the team that earned All-Gateway Metro Conference first-team honors for its 2021 junior season.

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The defensive specialist was also an outside hitter and the main point guard on the field. Williams said Hall will guide and direct everyone on the floor.

“If you can get an outside hitter to play all around, that helps with substitutions and it’s one less play to play,” Williams said.

Hall finished the season second with 39 digs and third with 32 service receptions.

The other All-GMC first team member for the Griffins was Oller.

“She’s a different sound for us,” Williams said. “She is our hammer on the outside. She can reach any ball and land it with force and aggression.

Oller was second on the team in kills with 15 and was second in blocks with five. She had seven aces.

“She plays well defensively, but her ability to drive the ball home is what makes her special,” Williams said.

Although Hall is the team captain, the defensive captain for the Griffins is Hylla, who as a sophomore took over the libero role during the season.

“She can reach any batted ball anywhere on the court,” Williams said. “Having a sophomore take on this role is pretty impressive,” Williams said.

Hylla led the team with 100 digs. She received 118 services.

“No matter where the ball is, she’ll give you everything she’s got,” Williams said. “When the game is over, she wants to play another one.”

Williams added that the 11-23 record doesn’t show the improvements made over the season.

“We knew it would be a tough learning year,” Williams said. “Last year has done nothing but help these girls for the year ahead.”

Valmeyer ended the Griffins’ season in the Class 1A Metro-East Lutheran Regional Semifinals with a 25-10, 25-19 win. FMCHS defeated Madison 25-12, 25-10 in the regional quarterfinals.

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