MVNU volleyball has hopes for this year


The 2014 season was a building block for a young Mount Vernon Nazarene University volleyball team. The Lady Cougars entered play with 12 underclassmen and just two upperclassmen on their opening night roster. While falling short in a Crossroads League Quarterfinal match against Bethel, the 2014 campaign provided much hope for the future as the Lady Cougars compiled a 23-10 overall record and an 11-7 conference mark.

Led by Annelise Rohrer, Marlowe Beatty, Ashley Gingerich, Allyson Near, and Molly Gerber, the 2014 Lady Cougars set a high standard of play on and off the court. Rohrer was named a 2014 Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball All-American Honorable Mention, Crossroads League First Team selection, and the Crossroads League Player of the Year after leading the Crossroads League with 493 kills (10th NAIA), 4.3 kills per set, and coming second in the Crossroads League with a (.291) attack percentage. In addition, Rohrer was named a 2014 Capital One Academic All-District First Team and a Capitol One Academic All-American 2nd Team selection as a Biology (Pre-Physical Therapy) major.

Beatty, was named a Crossroads League First Team Selection after amassing 765 digs, 36 service aces, and coming second in the NAIA in digs per set at 6.59. Off the court Beatty was selected as a 2014 Capital One Academic All-District First Team Selection, and a 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete as an Early Childhood Education major.

Gingerich, was named a Crossroads League Second Team Selection after totaling 118 kills, 366 digs, 17 blocks, and a pass percentage of .957. Gingerich also came in second on the team with 539 total receptions, and was tied for third on the team with 18 service aces.

Near, was named a Crossroads League Honorable Mention selection after coming second on the team with 238 kills, leading the team with 97 blocks, being tied for 10th in blocks per set in the Crossroads League with .81, and being tied for 12th in the league with total blocks.

Gerber, the lone senior on last year’s team, was selected the team captain and a 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete as a Social Work major.

Building on the previous season, the Lady Cougars display a reason for high hopes in the upcoming 2015 season. Returning 10 of 14 players, continuity will play a big part in the success of the Lady Cougars. Rohrer, Beatty, Gingerich, and Near all return with another year of experience looking to lead the team to success in 2015.

“One of the consistent things from a training camp point of view as you’re looking to start the season is two things that have to happen,” Head Coach Coach Paul Swanson said. “One is you’re looking for returning players who are improved. Second, you have to have new people who add to the competitive mix.”

The 2015 Lady Cougars certainly have a mix of both improved returning players and competitive incoming players. Improving the roster is the 2015 recruiting class, which includes Kristin Kurtz, Madeline Hire, Audrey McCullough, Emily Rahe, and Kristen Osborn.

Kurtz, a defensive specialist from Perrysville, Ohio, prepped at Mansfield Christian High School in Mansfield, OH where she was named 1st Team all-Conference for her junior and senior year in the Mid-Buckeye Conference, 3rd Team All-District as a junior, 2nd Team all-District as a senior, and to the District 6 All-Star Team as a senior.

Hire, a middle hitter from Coshocton, Ohio, prepped at Coshocton High School where she played volleyball for four seasons. She was named East Central Ohio League 1st Team in 2012, 2013, and 2014, 1st Team District 5 in 2014, 2nd Team District 5 in 2012 and 2013, 2014 MVP, 2013 Best Offensive Player, and was named Best Offensive and Defensive Player in 2012.

McCullough, a middle hitter from Newark, Ohio, prepped at Lakewood High School where she played volleyball for four seasons. She was named 1st Team All-Licking County League in 2014, 2nd Team All-LCL in 2013, 2nd Team All-Central District in 2013, and Team MVP in both 2013 and 2014.

Rahe, a setter from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, prepped at Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, OH where she played Volleyball all 4 years. She helped Bishop Hartley win the 2011 State Championship, assisted her 17u club team Mintonette achieve National Runner Up Honors in 2013, and was a State Runner Up in 2014 with Bishop Hartley. She was named 1st Team All-State in 2013 and 2014, Central District Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014, 2014 Ohio All-Star Game Participant, and the 2014 Central Ohio Volleyball Athlete of the Year.

Osborn, an outside hitter/defensive specialist from Columbiana, Ohio, prepped at Heartland Christian School where she played volleyball for four years and basketball for 1 year. In volleyball she was named Heartland Christian Volleyball’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2012, and team MVP in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, Osborn was named team captain for her junior and senior year, named to the All-Ohio 3rd Team, recognized as the Terrific 21 All-Star Match Most Outstanding Player, Max Preps Player of the Week, OHSAA Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award and WYTV Student Athlete of the Week.

The 2015 season looks bright for the Lady Cougars as Head Coach Paul Swanson begins his 32nd season at MVNU. A mixture of talented returning players and incoming players that are ready to compete will be the main key to success.

MVNU will open the season on Friday night at the Robert Morris University Tournament against Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) at 7:00 PM followed by a showdown with Great Lakes Christian College at 9:00 PM.

5 Players to Watch in 2015

* Annelise Roher

o Led the team with 493 kills in 2014

o NAIA Honorable Mention All-American

o CoSIDA Capital One 2nd Academic All-American

o CoSIDA Capital One Academic 1st Team All-District

o Crossroads League Player of the Year

o Crossroads League 1st Team All-League

o Crossroads League Hitter and Player of the Week (Nov. 3)

o Crossroads League Hitter and Player of the Week (Aug. 25)

* Marlowe Beatty

o Led the team with 797 digs in 2014

o Crossroads League 1st Team All-League

o CoSIDA Capital One Academic 1st Team All-District

o Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete

o Crossroads League Libero of the Week (Nov. 3)

o Crossroads League Libero of the Week (Oct. 20)

o Crossroads League Libero of the Week (Oct. 6)

o Crossroads League Libero of the Week (Sept. 9)

* Ashley Gingerich, (Plain City, OH) SO OUTSIDE HITTER

o Recorded 418 kills and 366 digs in 2014

o Appeared in 120 sets in 2014

o Crossroads League 2nd Team All-League

* Allyson Near, (Waynedale, OH) SO MIDDLE HITTER

o Led team with 97 total and 36 solo blocks in 2014

o Appeared in 120 sets in 2014

o Crossroads League Honorable Mention

* Carolyn Beatty, (Dalton, OH) JR SETTER

o 2nd on team with 551 assists in 2014

o Recorded 24 service aces in 2014

o Appeared in 119 sets as a Sophomore

comments powered by Disqus