ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball recently welcomed back some familiar faces for its first annual Alumni Match. The event brought about the conclusion to the 2012 spring season with a lighthearted twist appreciated by all in attendance.
The group of Ohio players that returned to Athens is all part of the success the program has enjoyed these last 10 seasons as Bobcat Volleyball is 265-69, including a 143-19 record in MAC play.
The Green and White have won seven MAC Tournament titles during that stretch and reached the NCAA Tournament eight times with a Sweet 16 berth in 2005, and two second round appearances in the last three years.
Among the returners was Laura (Hageman) Cobb, who last played for Ohio in 2003. The program's first AVCA All-American, Hageman is also Ohio’s all-time blocks leader with 566 and holds the top three single-season solo block marks.
Ellen Herman, who last played for the Bobcats in their 2009 season, was another one of those in attendance. Herman is Ohio’s only two-time AVCA All-American and two-time MAC Player of the Year. She also owns Ohio’s all-time marks in kills (1,984) and points (2,191.5). Herman is now a professional player in Switzerland and she made the journey back to join in the fun of the evening’s event.
“I’ve been back and forth a couple times, but this is actually the first time where I get to see everybody,” Herman said. “It was so much fun to come back and play… it seems like yesterday we just saw each other.”
Bobcat volleyball announcer Lou Horvath said his favorite part of the alumni game was getting to bring back the players’ old nicknames, for which he is known for giving out.
“Getting a chance to go through that kind of rekindling with what happened before and bringing it up to date and merging it and meshing it with the kids we have today was great,” said Horvath. “It gives them a sense of legacy as well.”
An alumni game is not played every year, as Head Coach Ryan Theis explained. This is his first since taking over as head coach in March 2008.
Junior setter Leah Petrovich appreciated being able to play against the alumni this year saying, “To play against them, and play with them again, it was a really great experience and one we hope can continue in the future.”