2015 Columbus State volleyball season preview

2015 Columbus State volleyball season preview

COLUMBUS, Ohio – When new head coach Jill Yocum took over the Columbus State Women's Volleyball program, she knew the standards were set very high.

"The 2014 season is certainly going to be a hard act to follow, but the 2015 squad has a lot of talent and heart," said Head Coach Jill Yocum. "We have the potential to be a very well-rounded team. The girls are determined, hard-working, and ready to compete!"

The 2014 season wrapped with a 34-4 overall record, capturing the OCCAC Championship, Region XII District E Championship, and a fourth place national finish. Two of the top performing freshmen from last season, Ellie Cain and Rachel Noffsinger, transferred to the NCAA DI University of Tennessee-Martin. For the 2015 season, the Cougars return four contributors from last season, while adding six newcomers to the roster.

Sophomore middle Julia Wynn headlines the returners after a solid freshman campaign. "Julia brings experience and great floor leadership," Yocum said. "She moves swiftly and has command of her offensive and defensive responsibilities."

The quartet of impact sophomores on this year's squad includes Wynn, libero Kelsey Rammel, outside hitter/defensive specialist Haley Gerten, and setter Brett Bey.

Rammel picked up the role of outside hitter after showing her versatility on the floor. According to Yocum, "Kelsey is not only a solid part of the defense, but a force on the front line. Expect her to be playing all six rotations."

Gerten will be bringing her floor experience as both an outside hitter and defensive specialist from last season. Along with Rammel, she will be a six rotation player. "Haley is a huge cohesive factor for the team," Yocum said.

Although Bey has limited floor experience from last season, she has embraced her new role as the team's primary setter for their 5-1 offense with confidence. Additionally, "her 6' stature adds a real plus for effectively attacking and blocking," Yocum said.

Six new freshmen will step onto the court to don the navy and white this season.  The class includes Rafaella Gioffre (defensive specialist), Julia Littell (outside hitter/middle blocker), Abigail McCormick (outside hitter/right side), Madeline Platfoot (middle blocker), Kelli Vorst (defensive specialist), and Hannah Wallace (middle blocker).

Yocum expressed her enthusiasm about the incoming group.

"They all come from very successful programs (club and high school) so I expect the transition to be smooth," Yocum said. "Julia L. has years of experience at the Junior Olympic level and is a very strong asset to the program. Abigail and Kelli bring great versatility to the floor. Hannah has incredible timing and instinct, making her a great middle blocker. Madeline, who has tremendous passion for the game, is training for the libero position. Rafaella is a great athlete and is also a top golfer and cheerleader at Columbus State, making her a rare three sport college athlete."

The Cougars open up their season at the Oakland Tournament August 22-23 in Highland, Mich.