KOKOMO, Ind. – The Indiana University Kokomo women’s volleyball team brought together the core of its team on Friday, May 13, as seven athletes signed to become part of the newly-formed squad. Coach Kristen Snoddy, Chancellor Michael Harris, and Assistant Athletic Director Sarah Sarber welcomed the seven women in a signing ceremony at Kresge Auditorium.
Coach Snoddy said the seven will form the nucleus of the Lady Cougars that could number 15 players before the season starts.
“We wanted to sign these seven first since they are already college students,” Snoddy said. “We have four more athletes we want to sign that are currently high school students. We will have those ceremonies at their schools.”
Snoddy said the 11 signees could be joined by as many four more players before the fall season begins.
Chancellor Harris said athletics is quickly becoming part of student life at the university.
“We are very delighted to have you here,” Harris said to the students and their families. “We are very serious about athletics, but more importantly, we are very serious about education. Athletics has an important role in education.”
All seven athletes indicated that the university’s size and closeness to home were factors in their decision.
The seven athletes joining the team are:
- Jenna Pelling, attended Clinton Central, and a current IU Kokomo student. Snoddy said Pelling will be the team’s only true middle player for the time being. Pelling is majoring in business.
- Rachael Williams, originally from Wisconsin, a transfer from Goshen College. Snoddy cited her experience playing at Goshen as a benefit, as she has already played against some of the teams the Cougars will face next season.
- Krista Armstrong is a Maconaquah High School graduate and a Ball State transfer. Snoddy said she “plays bigger than she looks.”
- Elizabeth Barney attended Southwood High School and is currently an IU Kokomo student. A business major, Barney brings setting experience to the team, according to Snoddy.
- Alex Wylie is a Northwestern graduate and a current IU Kokomo nursing student. Snoddy said her defensive skills will make her an asset to the team.
- Brittany Royer is a transfer from Ivy Tech Community College. She attended Rossville High School. Snoddy pointed to her passing ability as a key asset she brings to the team.
- Samantha Billue is a graduate of North White High School and a current IU Kokomo student. Billue is a good passer and hitter, but Snoddy said her excitement about the new program may be her biggest asset.
“This is a very exciting time,” Snoddy said. “We have a lot of work to do before the season starts. We have things planned for this summer, like community service work at Howard Haven and a cookout – things that will help build team unity. But we will also be working on conditioning as well.”
The Lady Cougars’ fall volleyball schedule can be found on the IU Kokomo Web site at http://www.iuk.edu/campus/student_life/athletics/womens-volleyball.html.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.