The nine-time OCCAC defending champion Owens Community College women’s volleyball program began its 2009 season with a tournament August 28-29 at Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan.
Joining the Express for their first college season are outside hitter Lauren Lind (Lake) and defensive specialist Alyssa LaVoy (Eastwood).
The Owens volleyball program is led by nine-year Head Coach Sonny Lewis. During his eighth season, Lewis led the Express to 39 wins. Lewis’ assistants are Denny Caldwell and Alison Mugler.
The Express will open its home campaign by hosting the Owens Express Invitational, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 4-6.
Last season, the Express women’s volleyball program ended their season with a 39-15 overall record. The program captured its ninth consecutive OCCAC championship, finishing with an overall 10-0 conference record. Owens has won 10 out of the last 11 conference titles.
The Express’ season concluded with a loss to Columbus State Community College in the finals of the NJCAA Region XII Championships.
“We are very young with 10 incoming freshmen. However, the first-year student-athletes are extremely talented and have achieved a considerable amount of success at the high school level,” Lewis said.
The Express have four players returning from last year’s championship team, including NJCAA All-Region XII Tournament Team selection Ja’Lisa Graham (Mansfield Senior). In 2008, the sophomore outside hitter recorded 155 kills, 110 digs and 21 aces for the Express in 88 games.
Lewis’ squad also returns Amanda Drew (Springfield), Brooke Hearn (Erie Mason) and Brooke Thomas (Findlay). Drew, a sophomore defensive specialist, played in 82 games and recorded 106 digs. Additionally, Drew earned OCCAC Academic All-Conference honors. Hearn is a sophomore outside hitter. In 2008, she recorded 133 kills, 159 digs and 23 aces in 101 games. Thomas is sophomore outside hitter and was third on the team with 33 aces. She also recorded 51 kills and 30 digs in 60 games.
Other first-year players are defensive specialist Alyssa Wielfaert (Start); outside hitter Danielle Bateson (Fostoria); middle blocker Amanda Schuster (Sylvania Southview); outside hitter Jessica Knueve (Kalida); outside hitter Kara Seals (Bedford, Mich.); middle blocker Maureen Kurtz (Mohawk); setter and outside hitter Shelby Schuster (Southview); and setter Leigha Poulson of Shreve (Triway).