Recruiting class brings excitement for CMU volleyball
The Central Michigan volleyball program is coming off its first-ever Mid-American Conference Championship in the 2011-2012 season.
Head coach Erik Olson said recruiting played a key role in establishing a championship team.
“This class was secured before we won the MAC tournament,” he said. “This is the class we felt would make the most impact. My staff does a really nice job of recruiting, and that is a very important part of what we do.”
This is the fifth season in a row that CMU has posted a high recruiting class.
This is the first time, however, it was named in the top Honorable Mention by PrepVolleyball.com.
“We got our first ranked recruiting class in 2005, so we got that going right away,” Olson said. “It’s not necessarily the program; we just do a good job identifying and relating with high school kids.”
Olson’s main target in recruiting was to replace four-time All-MAC middleblocker and 2011 MAC Tournament MVP Kaitlyn Schultz.
He ended up with two incoming freshmen: Angelique White, the first Top 100-ranked recruit in program history (77), of Detroit, and Kalle Mulford of Simi Valley, Calif.
“My biggest concern was filling Schultz’s role,” Olson said. “We have two kids coming in, and we got (Danielle) Gotham and (Hallie) Enderle coming into their more experienced years, so we’ll have a great competition.”
Middleblocker isn’t the only spot that will be up for competition due to the strong recruiting class.
Junior setter Kelly Maxwell finished last season ranked No. 40 in the nation in assists, averaging 10.95 per set. Even though she finished in the top 40 in the nation, her job isn’t secure. Jordan Timmer graduated early from Lowell and has been working with the team since she finished high school.
“I think we’re going to have a great competition at the setter position,” Olson said. “She (Timmer) has been with us (since) January and fitting in like she’s always been here.”
Olson also said it’s “55 to 45” in terms of setting in favor of Maxwell due to experience. He said tight competition is a good thing.
“Timmer is easily the most athletic setter I’ve ever had,” he said. “She is just a great volleyball player, but she is still learning a lot about setting, and Kelly is such a great leader.”
Olson also lost defensive specialist Kelsey Detweiler. He expects Kristen Reenders from Grand Haven High School to fill into that role.
The Chippewas had a good season last year, ending with an exciting MAC tournament run and their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
“We’re looking pretty solid this year,” Olson said.
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