EATON — Years from now Olivia Baumann will have time to fully reflect on what she’s accomplished thus far in a decorated athletic career. Last Friday, while setting up for her graduation party at the Eaton Country Club, Baumann did get a gentle reminder of her rareness.
“I haven’t processed it yet, but I was setting up an awards table and I realized how much I’ve done,” Baumann said. “It’s been a great ride.”
When she graduates from Eaton High School on Saturday at Miami’s Millett Hall, Baumann will close the book on an extraordinary career. A rare three-sport star in volleyball, basketball and softball, Baumann leaves Eaton as the school’s all-time leader in kills (1,274), rebounds (888) and home runs (19). She has been named first team All-Southwestern Buckeye League 10 times in 11 sports seasons. An honorable mention selection in the other, Baumann’s 12th season (freshman year of softball) was cancelled due to COVID.
“Liv leaves Eaton as one of the most decorated athletes in the history of Eaton athletics, she will surely be missed,” Eaton volleyball coach Parker Fields said. “Our program is in a better position now because of what she and her teammates have done over the course of the last four seasons.”
Eaton softball coach Maggie Neanan and basketball coach Dave Honhart agree.
“Liv is one of the most competitive athletes I have ever coached,” Honhart said. “Her burning desire to win makes her exactly the kind of person I would always want beside me as a teammate.”
Said Neanan: “I have known Olivia personally her whole life, and she has always been a go-getter and someone who always works hard at what she does. She never wants to feel like she is letting you down as a coach or teammate.”
Baumann’s favorite sport is volleyball, which she will continue at Ohio Northern University. Baumann, who carries a 4.0 GPA, will major in accounting. Her father Jerry, a 1982 Eaton High grad, is a CPA.
During Baumann’s four years, Eaton volleyball tallied a 78-19 overall record and won three SWBL titles. She was first team all-league and all-district four times, the SWBL divisional player of the year three times, the district POY twice and All-Ohio twice. She owns three of the top four seasons in school history in kills and is second in career aces (173) and digs (826). She also holds the record for kills in a match (33).
On the basketball court Baumann was first team all-league three times and honorable mention as a freshman. Her junior year the Eagles won the program’s first district title. During that five-game run in the Division II postseason, Baumann averaged 14 points and 16 rebounds.
On the diamond Baumann was a three-time first team all-league selection. Her career averages read .508 batting average, 126 hits, 102 runs, 99 RBI, 22 doubles, 22 stolen bases and 10 triples.
Playing three sports, especially at a high level, is not easy. But Baumann, her parents and coaches (both varsity and club) made it work.
“I thought about dropping basketball and softball my freshman and sophomore years, because I wanted to focus on volleyball and getting a Division I (college) offer,” Baumann said. “But I had coaches that worked with me. They let me go to different practices and games during the seasons and they were really, really flexible with me.
“There were some very busy days and late nights (in the spring and summer), but we got through it. I just kept on working and I loved doing it, so I made it work.”
“She never missed anything,” Fields said. “Every summer workout, every open gym, every four-player instruction, every camp, every summer league date, every tournament. The only time she didn’t come to volleyball, she was in season with another sport.”
Said Neanan: “She has been one of a few athletes I’ve coached who literally finds time in the summer to make sure she is putting in work in each of her sports.”
Accountability and action have made Baumann elite. She started every set of every match in volleyball in four years. In basketball she started 81 games and played in 93. In softball she started 70 games.
Eaton has won two of the school’s three SWBL All-Sports titles the last two years.
“She was quiet on the court, didn’t show a lot of emotion, but played in absolute beast mode her entire career,” Fields said.
“Liv likes to let her play do her talking,” Honhart said. “She is a first-class, high character person in every way, shape and form.”