Huntington volleyball
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Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.) and the Vinton-Jackson Courier. He's a two-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Former Huntington star taking reins of Waverly’s volleyball program

Magill takes over a program that won a sectional title last fall.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

WAVERLY — Two years ago, Waverly turned to former Scioto Valley Conference standout Aleah Rhodes to turn their volleyball program around.

Rikki Magill posted over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs during her playing days at Huntington High School. The 2017 grad will now coach Waverly’s volleyball program after the Tigers won a sectional title last fall.
Submitted photo

The result was 29 total wins and the Tigers’ first sectional championship since 2012. 

And, after Rhodes resigned in February, Waverly has stuck to the script, turning the program over to another former SVC standout in Rikki Magill, a 2017 Huntington High School grad.

As the old adage goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

“I have always heard great things about Waverly from other teachers and I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to be a student teacher in the school district,” Magill said. “When I heard about the job opening, I was excited to apply. At the time, I hadn’t even thought about coaching. But everything just fell into place and I am blessed to be able to do two things I love: teach and coach. I knew it was the perfect spot for many reasons, and I was already comfortable knowing I had people at Waverly who had helped me in the past.” 

While this is her first time taking over a varsity program, she isn’t new to coaching. She’s spent several years as an assistant at Huntington, under her mom and longtime Huntsmen coach, Tina Magill.

And, before diving into coaching, she carved out one of the best careers Huntington has ever seen.

From 2014-2017, Magill registered well over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs, earning multiple all-district and All-Ohio selections. She helped the Huntsmen win four sectional championships and make three district final appearances — the program won a district title in 2016.

Needless to say, she understands what it takes to be elite and that’s the level she hopes to get Waverly’s program to.

“I feel like I’m bringing in a lot of experience, both as a player and coaching at a high level,” Magill said. “Some of the things that I was taught along the way that I am expecting out of my players is hard work and dedication. I am a firm believer that hard work and dedication can help us throughout the season. In our coaching staff, we have two other coaches that have held varsity coaching positions, as well as coaches who were All-Ohio as players.” 

Magill is walking into a program that boasts of returners Hallie Oyer, Caris Risner, Faith Thornsberry and Sidney Johnson — to name a few — following a 16-9 season. 

Rikki Magill (bottom row, far left) poses with Huntington’s volleyball program after the Huntsmen won a Division III district championship in 2019.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

So far, the Tigers have participated in multiple scrimmages and other summer tournaments.

There’s a learning curve that Magill is still adjusting. She’s still learning about her players, their strengths and their weaknesses, day-by-day. 

But she’s embracing that challenge, instilling a “We before me” attitude, and is ready to build upon what the Tigers were able to accomplish last season. 

“I’ve had great turnouts for open gyms and team-building fun. The girls have been able to touch the ball a lot since May and I’ve had a lot of players volunteer to attend small groups in order to work 1-on-1, which has helped me break down and practice some of the small details,” Magill said. “There’s work for me as well, considering this is a brand new conference with teams that I have to learn about. 

“But there’s goals we want to accomplish. We want to finish in the top half of the conference and peak during tournament time to give ourselves a chance for a long run. But that all starts with showing up everyday, getting better and being ready to outwork our opponents.”


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