Tasia Lauth Signs With Otterbein

New Knoxville’s Tasia Lauth signed her national letter of intent to continue her academic and athletic career at Otterbein University on Thursday. Accompanying were her parents Brent and Charla, back row, left, Rangers volleyball coach, sister Jadyn and club coaches Michelle and Jim Hardesty.
Sports Editor

From playing in one of the best high school volleyball conferences in the state, Tasia Lauth wanted that same challenging competition at the next level and she found it at a school near Columbus.

Opting to go with Otterbein University to continue her academic and athletic career, the all-state high school volleyball player made it official on Thursday at New Knoxville Schools.

“I went there a few times and it just felt like home,” Lauth said after the Rangers’ girls basketball win against Spencerville on Thursday. “Their education program is the best I have seen out there.”

While Otterbein did offer the best education program — she is looking to study in elementary education — in the list of schools she was looking at — including West Liberty in West Virginia, Defiance, Marietta among others — the school also attracted the Rangers’ outside/middle hitter because of its competition at the Division III level.

“I wanted to go to a school that had good competition and that’s exactly what they have,” she said. “They are in really tough division, but I think it will be good face them.”

Otterbein is a private, four-year liberal arts college with around 2,800 students enrolled in Westerville and the Cardinals are a Division III school as a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC).

The Cardinals are under the direction of 12th-year head coach Monica Wright — who has become the most successful coach in the history of Otterbein’s volleyball program with her career record of 218-137.

Otterbein was 21-9 overall this past year and 8-1 record in the OAC and 30-4 overall in 2017 when the Cardinals won the OAC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

During her three-year career as a starter for New Knoxville, Lauth played in 236 sets, tallying 644 kills, a .232 hitting percentage, 87 blocks and 211 digs. During her senior year that saw her finish as a Third-Team Division IV All-Ohio, First-Team All-District and First-Team All-Midwest Athletic Conference selection, Lauth product 289 kills in 76 sets played, six aces, 31 blocks and 98 digs. The Rangers finished 15-9 overall and earned a sectional title in the OHSAA volleyball playoffs.

The OAC contains other solid volleyball programs such as 2018 co-OAC champion Ohio Northern (22-8, 8-1), Muskingum (25-7, 7-2) and Baldwin Wallace (27-5, 6-3), similar to the MAC which contains the usual powerhouses in New Bremen, Coldwater, Versailles and St. Henry.

“It’s been fun playing all these years,” Lauth said. “I got to play with my sister (Jadyn) for two years and I got a chance to make friends with some really great girls that I didn’t think I would get a chance to be friends with.”