Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.
PORTSMOUTH — Not so long ago, Katie Dettwiller was leading Notre Dame’s volleyball program to newfound heights.
During her four-year playing career from 2016 to 2019, Dettwiller helped the Titans win 86 matches while posting 867 kills, 213 blocks and 53 aces. Now, just three years after her high school playing career ended, she’ll once again be the Titans’ fearless leader — just in a different capacity.
This fall, Dettwiller will begin her first varsity head coaching stint at Notre Dame, replacing Cassidy Roney after three seasons.
“It’s very exciting and I’m glad to be home. I decided to take over the program so that I could give back to the school and program that gave me so much when I was a part of it,” Dettwiller said. “It has been a dream and goal of mine to be a part of the volleyball program at Notre Dame as a coach.”
The ND alum will be taking over a program that has a proven track record of success. Under Roney, the Titans were 51-17 and never lost a Southern Ohio Conference matchup.
Dettwiller expects those winning ways to continue.
“Our plan is to focus on the details and fundamentals and build our team from there,” Dettwiller said. “The group of athletes that are a part of Notre Dame’s girls athletic programs right now know what it takes to continue the tradition of success. I am looking forward to helping them achieve our goals.”
After graduating in 2019, Dettwiller spent two seasons at Saint Francis University. There, as a part of the school’s basketball program, she played in 51 games and totaled 241 points, 76 blocks and 226 rebounds.
Now, she’s hoping to pass down the lessons she learned at the Division I level to her players.
“I have thought a lot about the lessons I’ve learned throughout my career as an athlete and I definitely use them in planning and preparation for the program,” Dettwiller said. “I’ve been lucky enough to play for some incredible coaches in multiple sports and levels of competition. That is something that is very valuable to me. I am looking forward to using those experiences as guidance for myself, but also for the girls on the team.”
One of those girls just happens to be Dettwiller’s younger sister Annie, who will be entering her senior season.
“It means a lot to me and I’m so glad to be able to coach Annie this season,” Dettwiller said. “She’s an excellent leader and athlete, so she’s going to be a huge part of this year’s team. I feel honored to be a part of her senior year, not just as her sister, but as her coach.”
Annie is, by all accounts, one of the conference’s best all-around players. But Notre Dame has a monopoly on that list — one that certainly includes the likes of returners Gwen Sparks, Mallory Boland, Bree Hicks, Kamryn Bradford, Gracie Ashley and Katie Strickland.
As she enters her first season as a head coach, because of that returning talent, Dettwiller’s team will be the favorite to repeat as a conference champion.
Now, it’s a matter of planning and executing. Dettwiller’s coaching debut is scheduled for Aug. 19 at Northwest. She’s anxious to get after it.
“Several of these girls have lots of experience with the game of volleyball and that will be a great strength for us,” Dettwiller said. “I’m looking forward to getting into the gym and seeing first-hand what each player has to offer to the program and where they will fit into our team.”