COLUMBUS — Several years ago, Mallory Gotschall told Central Community College head volleyball coach Mary Young this day would come.
Gotschall’s older sister, Molly, was playing for the Raiders at the time and, while attending Columbus Days, Young remembers Gotschall telling her, “Just wait, I’m going to be your libero someday.”
The Lakeview senior made that a reality on Monday, signing a letter of intent to play volleyball at Central.
It was an easy decision.
“I just always wanted to be local around Columbus and Central has a really good volleyball program,” she said.
Gotschall, whose father is president of Central Community College-Columbus and will hold that position for the entire college system come January, has been going to Central volleyball matches for a long time and was always impressed with how good the team is year after year.
“Their success is amazing,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of that.”
Gotschall, a Telegram Super Senior, will leave Lakeview as one of the school’s most-decorated volleyball players, finishing her career in the top five in sets and matches played, serve attempts and serve percentage.
The libero ended her high school career as a 97 percent server, 92 percent passer on serve-receive and 91 percent passer on digs, and broke the school record for digs in a career with 1,291. Her sister previously held that mark with 1,289.
“I checked the math about 17 times,” Lakeview head coach K.C. Belitz said.
As a senior, Gotschall led the team with 515 digs, which was fifth in Class C-1, according to MaxPreps, and finished second on the team with 30 aces.
“Mallory will be as hard to replace as any player in recent memory, and that puts her in really good company,” Belitz said. “She’s been our anchor for two-plus seasons.”
At Central, Gotschall will reunite with two of her former Viking teammates, Jordee Korte and Morgan Iverson, who are freshmen this year.
That’s something she is looking forward to.
“I’m super-excited to play with them again,” she said. “I miss them a lot. They’re great people.”
She’ll also get a chance to play alongside a former rival in Scotus Central Catholic’s Shania Borchers, who signed with the Raiders last week.
Although it might be a little different at first, Gotschall knows Borchers is a great player she'll enjoying being on the court with.
“It’s just part of working with a new team,” Gotschall said. “There will be a lot of advantages to working with the new people and getting better because of them.”
Young feels Gotschall was underrated during her time at Lakeview, really coming on during her final two years.
“She’s really grown her last couple years at Lakeview and I just think she’ll continue to grow in her time at Central,” Young said.
Young plans to develop Gotschall into an even better player.
“We’re going to work her hard and she’ll be a good asset to our program,” the Central coach said.