The UC Clermont volleyball team is back on the court preparing for the 2013 campaign.
Coming off their seventh consecutive appearance at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship tournament in New York, the Cougars are working hard in hopes of putting together another stellar season.
Head Coach Joe Harpring expects the squad to be quick, deep and athletic this year.
“We plan to use our depth to keep everyone fresh and avoid dragging a bit at the end of the season,” said Harpring who is beginning his ninth year as head coach at UC Clermont (13th year overall coaching at UC Clermont). “We have the luxury of a substantial number of talented individuals,” said Coach Harpring.
In spite of some key losses to graduation, etc., the Cougars are returning eight quality players and a talented transfer for the coming campaign.
Setter Becca Walton (Mother of Mercy) and right side hitter Haley Weber (Mariemont) enter their senior seasons and will be counted on to lead the squad.
Junior outside hitter Kaitlyn Miller (Sycamore) and junior defensive specialist Courtney Maier (Newport Central Catholic) will also lend a veteran presence to the team.
Five sophomores will be back with a year of collegiate experience under their belts – middle hitter Kiley Collins (Goshen), middle hitter Heather Rowland (Norwood), setter Alex Robb (Amelia), right side hitter Shannon Arnold (Glen Este) and outside hitter Amber Peters (Loveland and Thomas More College).
Four newcomers will supplement the veteran core of the Clermont team.
Two are true incoming freshmen – outside hitter Amber Lawrence (Felicity-Franklin) and defensive specialist Samantha Gilbert (Franklin County, Indiana).
The others are walk-on defensive specialist Taylor Herrmann (Glen Este) and outside hitter Sarah Barrial (Goshen).
All four won numerous awards during their high school careers.
The Cougars will face an especially challenging schedule in 2013.
In addition to the usual strong USCAA, NCAA and independent opponents, Clermont will also meet a number of higher level NAIA programs.
“This year we may be facing our toughest schedule ever,” said Harpring. “We want to be prepared to play the best in case we are fortunate enough to receive another post season bid.”
The season will kick off on Friday, August 23 as the Cougars host Ohio Christian University – a team selected to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament in 2012. Game time is 6:00 PM in the Student Activities Center.
For more information about the UC Clermont volleyball team visit: http://www.ucclermont.edu/athletics/WomensVolleyball.html.