Honors and accolades continue to come in quickly especially after the University of Cincinnati Clermont College’s women’s volleyball team turned in yet another very respectable performance on the national level of competition.
This time the Cougars’ stellar efforts were recognized at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship Tournament.
The Red and Black won their first two contests in the Preliminary Pool Play. They defeated Ohio State University-Marion 25-13, 25-20 and Penn State-Mont Alto 25-10, 25-21. Clermont garnered third place in the preliminary pool after falling before Spalding University 25-20, 26-24 and Robert Morris-Springfield 25-18, 22-25, and 25-18.
The semi-final game was a 25-15, 25-19, 25-20 loss to Spalding University. Southern Virginia University followed by beating the local ladies 25-19, 25-14, 25-17.
Kelly Koons, senior middle hitter and a graduate of Miamisburg High School, was chosen as a member of the USCAA National Tournament all-star dream team. The announcement was made at the tournament banquet.
Also at the tournament banquet, it was announced that Koons had earned a berth on the First Team USCAA All-American team. Other Cougars honored were Lauren Bradford, Norwood High School graduate, and Erica Hoctor, Turpin High School graduate, who were both named USCAA All-American honorable mentions.
Other post season honors earned by the Clermont countians included the announcement of the Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference's (OCAC) first-ever all-star team. Earning this recognition were first team members Koons and Bradford, a sophomore setter/outside hitter. Second team all-OCAC laurels went to Rachel Hays, a freshman middle hitter and an Amelia High School graduate, Cindy Votel, a sophomore libero and a graduate of Bellevue (Ky.) High School, and Jaci Stewart, a junior outside hitter and a graduate of Blanchester High School.
Winning the crown in the first-ever Ohio Regional Campus State Tournament, Koons earned tourney most valuable player laurels and Bradford was also named to the all-tournament team.
Koons has also been honored by having a replica of her number 17 jersey hung permanently from the rafters of the UC Clermont Student Activity Center.
Joe Harpring is the head coach of the Red and Black. This was his sixth season as the Cougars' head coach and he was the assistant coach the three previous years.
Harpring has guided the Clermont countians to ORCC West Division championships all six seasons.
His overall record as the head man on the Batavia hillside is an enviable 98-40.
He was assisted by former Clermont County high school and Clermont College volleyball stars Whitney Britney, a graduate of Williamsburg High School, and Meagan, a graduate of Felicity high School.
The academic advisor was Peggy Hager, a graduate of Glen Este High School. All four of the professional staff are members of the Clermont College Athletic Hall of Fame.
The members of the nationally-ranked Cougars were Kelly Koons, senior, a graduate of Miamisburg High School; Eric Hoctor. junior, a graduate of Turpin High; Jaimie Martin, junior, a graduate of Turpin High; Jaci Stewart, junior, a graduate of Blanchester High; Lynn Abbinante, sophomore, a graduate of Western Brown High; Lauren Bradford, sophomore, a graduate of Norwood High; Sarah Shumate, sophomore, a graduate of Lawrence County (Tn.) High; Cindy Votel, sophomore, a graduate of Bellevue (Ky.) High; Courtney Davis, freshman, a graduate of Western Brown High; Rachel Ferguson, freshman, a graduate of Norwood High; and Rachel Hays, freshman, a graduate of Amelia High.