ST. CLAIRSVILLE - In today’s local economy filled with gas and oil development, the Ohio University Eastern volleyball program has developed its’ own pipeline of sorts. This pipeline of talent begins at Monroe Central High School and runs directly to OUE, evidenced by the fact that three former ‘Noles were named All-Ohio Regional Campus Conference (ORCC) for Coach Lindsay Piccolini’s resurgent spikers.
Sophomore Alex Kuhn led the way and was named first team All-ORCC for her efforts. The 5’7” outside hitter was dominant at times while recording 6.5 digs, 3.5 kills and 2.7 assists per set. Alex also served at an 88 percent clip. However, Coach Piccolini was more impressed with Kuhn’s leadership abilities. “Alex was a very vocal player in our huddles and always tried her best to keep the team inspired,” said Piccolini. “She deserved the spot on the first team for playing her heart out this season and I am proud that she received this recognition.”
Freshman Kate Fickel, a 5’9” middle hitter made second team All-ORCC. Kate transitioned nicely into the college circuit as dented the stat sheet with 2.5 kills and 1.8 digs per set, while serving at 91 percent. “Kate’s positive attitude was infectious and she always contributed, no matter what position I put her in,” said Piccolini. “I think that she is going to be even better next year.”
Melissa Stimpert, a 5’4” setter, led the team with a 92 percent serving percentage and also dished out 5.9 assists per game. According to Piccolini, the sophomore may have had the hardest job on the team. “There was a lot of pressure on Melissa as the designated setter to keep the offense going,” said Piccolini. “She did an excellent job of moving the ball around in order to find the hot hitter and then feeding the ball in the appropriate spot.” The league took notice, as Melissa was named honorable mention, All-ORCC as a result.
OUE improved from a 2-10 record in 2011 to 7-9 this year and advanced in the ORC State Tourney for the first time since 2006.