YORK TWP. — An unexpectedly eventful season for the Buckeye volleyball team has taken a dramatic turn.
Tom Schuler, who was in his second season as coach, resigned from the position in a late Wednesday night email to athletic director Tom Harrington. The Bucks went 26-13 under his direction, including 7-7 this season.
“It was unexpected, but Tom said he was stepping down for personal reasons,” Harrington said. “As we told the girls this morning, this is the time to rally together and support each other because there is a lot of volleyball still to be played this fall.”
Assistant Kara Joyce was promoted to interim coach, while Steve Borgis and Howard Calame Jr. will continue to serve on the staff. Joyce is a 2010 Buckeye graduate who holds school records for assists in a career (1,830), season (842) and match (60).
Joyce attended Cleveland State and teaches at the Medina County Career Center. She is the 12th person — and the second former Bucks player — to coach the team.
“The feedback from the girls was that Coach Joyce was someone they respected,” Harrington said. “The great thing was how much all of our coaches wanted to help once we told them what had occurred.”
Buckeye, which lost five straight matches to open the year, won the 2017 Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division title and entered Thursday just a half-game out of first place.
Sophomore and West Virginia recruit Kamiah Gibson has averaged more than 20 kills and 20 assists since being shifted to a dual setter/outside hitter role.
Reigning Stars Division MVP Molly Galaszewski suffered multiple ankle fractures in the preseason and missed the first third of the campaign. She was medically cleared to play outside hitter two weeks ago.
Starting libero Clare Mewhinney also was sidelined for half the season with a concussion, forcing four total promotions from the junior varsity team and 13 different starters in the aforementioned losing streak.
Schuler is the first volleyball coach in Medina County to resign during a season since the OHSAA sanctioned the sport in 1975.
“We met with our team leaders this morning — and we have some very strong leaders — and they’re committed to finishing the season in the best possible way,” Harrington said. “I have full confidence that they’ll do it.”