By Joey Bennett
Considering the high level of high school volleyball played in the Wabash Valley, it’s surprising that a relatively low total of only 13 athletes are playing the sport collegiately this fall.
Several veteran players of the past such as Lauren Ditteon, Katelyn Bishop and Stephanie Wilson have concluded their college careers, while several others who had remaining eligibility or had signed letters-of-intent have disappeared from rosters.
Only three of the 13 players — Terre Haute South’s Kristen Seaton and Joy Trendelman and Northview’s Kaley Huffman — are at Division I or II schools.
Four of the players are teammates at Lake Land College in Mattoon, while Northview accounts for the best representation with three active athletes.
Several area players still in high school appear to have outstanding careers ahead of them, so hopefully this list will grow over the next few years.
Early-season volleyball news:
• Seaton injured — South’s Seaton was scheduled to start as a sophomore right outside hitter for Pepperdine, but has not yet appeared for the Waves due to injury.
Pepperdine is off to a 4-0 start coming off a 3-1 victory over No. 17 Colorado State in the first match of the Oregon State Asics Classic on Friday.
Last season, Seaton averaged 1.88 kills per game.
“Last year Kristen was a little bit up and down, but when she was up she was hitting about .750, and when she was down she played like a freshman,” Pepperdine coach Nina Matthies said in the team’s preseason prospectus. “If she’s healthy, then I think that she will have a breakout season.”
• Trendelman paces Pumas – The Saint Joseph's College Volleyball Team returned from Pensacola still riding the wave of momentum. Traveling down to the West Florida Invitational last weekend, the Pumas opened the season last week winning three out of four games before being rushed to the airport to avoid the possible threat of hurricane Gustav.
Safely back home, the Pumas defeated Taylor University in straight sets this week to push their record to 4-1.
St. Joseph’s was led by sound play from Trendelman, a senior, who led the team with nine kills on the evening.
• Lake Land getting back on track – Ranked No. 17 in the preseason, Lake Land lost six of seven matches in a tournament in Utah before getting back in the win column on Wednesday with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-23 win over Rena Lake.
Rockville’s Ashli Wicker set 27 assists for the Lakers, who improved to 2-0 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 3-6 overall.
Northview’s Ashley Hull added three aces and two kills, while Terre Haute North’s Casey Hayne had eight assists, one ace and three digs.
Hull is one of four players from Brazil on the Lake Land roster, but the only one who didn’t need a passport to get to the Mattoon, Ill., school.
• Weatherford helps Ravens – North’s Carol Weatherford had five blocks and four kills on Wednesday as Indiana Wesleyan defeated Anderson 22-25, 25-11, 25-20 and 25-9.
Anderson was 3-2 going into this weekend’s Hanover Invitational, in which the Ravens went 1-3 in pool play.
In other college news:
• Phegley gets needed rest – Following a subpar performance at the U.S. National team tryouts, Terre Haute North grad Josh Phegley took the rest of the summer off to rest some tendonitis in his shoulder.
He had surgery last winter, and feels he may have rushed back too soon to play in February. The shoulder wasn’t a big problem during his collegiate season, as Phegley recorded one of the best seasons in Indiana University history.
“I took about two weeks to rest before going to the USA Trials,” Phegley said this week. “When I got out there, I just jumped into it expecting to keep playing hard and my shoulder had already tightened up.
“I developed some really bad tendonitis, which went away in about two weeks, but my coach and I agreed that I needed rest before fall ball.”
• Cleaning up – There were two errors associated with the Aug. 24 edition of this column.
North grad and former Wabash football standout Mike Russell coaches at Crawfordsville High School as written in the column, not collegiately as the headline indicated.
Recent South grad D.J. Shouse was recruited by Ancilla College, but is not continuing his basketball career there, as terrehautesouthbasketball.com had reported. Shouse is actually continuing a family tradition and playing at Peru State in Nebraska – where his Uncle Daniel once scored 100 points in a game.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches and coaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Rebecca Varnes, senior, Manchester
Katie Tharp, senior, Rose-Hulman
Brianna Hollenbeck, freshman, Lake Land
Ashley Hull, freshman, Lake Land
Kaley Huffman, freshman, IUPUI
Brianne Arvin, sophomore, Stephens (Mo.) College
Ashli Wicker, sophomore, Lake Land
Shelby Johnston, freshman, Franklin
Alyssa Chagnon, freshman, Vincennes
Terre Haute North
Carol Weatherford, junior, Anderson
Casey Hayne, freshman, Lake Land
Terre Haute South
Kristen Seaton, sophomore, Pepperdine
Joy Trendelman, senior, St. Joseph’s
Wabash Valley college volleyball players