This is the last in a 10-part series profiling the returning members of the reigning Mid-American Conference Tournament champion Ohio University volleyball team. Rising senior outside hitter Ellen Herman made Bobcats history in 2008 when she broke the program’s overall record for attacks in a season (1,363) and eclipsed the rally scoring record for kills in a season (526) en route to becoming the first Ohio player to earn All-America honors prior to her senior year. She enters the 2009 season needing 252 kills to break fellow Ohio All-American Melissa Griffin’s program record. To see a photo gallery of Ellen in action during the 2008 season, please click here.
Ohiobobcats.com: What have you been up to since last season ended? Anything interesting or exciting?
Ellen Herman: Since last season, I haven’t been doing anything out of the ordinary. Out of season for me is continuing to train and get better on the volleyball court, giving more attention to my academics and, of course, having a little free time for myself.
Ohiobobcats.com: How do you feel the spring season went, both for the team and for you as an individual?
EH: Spring season was different this year compared to the last three because it was my last one! So sad!!! I though we improved as a team in ways that none of us thought we would. Unfortunately, we never had a full squad due to injuries, but we played with diversity and had fun doing it! As an individual, us juniors are now upcoming seniors, and the team looks up to us now. I think I played with a different mentality because our whole class wants what’s best for our teammates and we know that we want to have the most successful season possible next fall. I know that I have to play with more confidence to make sure that the younger players know that they can have their trust in me.
Ohiobobcats.com: If you had to pick one area of the game that you improved upon most during the spring season, what would it be?
EH: One area I would say that I’ve improved the most would be attacking off hands, also known as ‘tooling the block.’ As an outside hitter, you have to work with every set you get, where it’s a perfect one or a secondary set coming from a defensive specialist. Ryan and the coaching staff always put us in those situations in practice so that we’ll be owning the pins by the time fall rolls around.
Ohiobobcats.com: Is there anything specific that you’ll look to work on this summer to help you out when the season starts in the fall?
EH: There isn’t really anything specific I want to work on this summer – I just want to improve all around. In general, being consistent and effective is always a top priority for me as an athlete.
Ohiobobcats.com: When you look ahead to the 2009 season, what are you most excited about?
EH: I’m most excited about winning. We have a lot of returning starters and some really good additions to the program. Now that this is Ryan’s second season with us, I have all the confidence and trust that he will make us the best team that Ohio has ever seen.
Ohiobobcats.com: What are some of the goals that you have as an individual for next fall?
EH: Going into every season, I always set goals for myself. This year, I want to be MAC Player of the Year again, and after the season is over, I’d like to be a first-team All-American.
Ohiobobcats.com: Any exciting plans for the summer before two-a-days start?
EH: Well, in June I get to fly out to Anaheim to train with the U.S. National Team for about three weeks. I hope to go on vacation, and summer in Athens is also always a good time. The weather never fails me!
Ohiobobcats.com: When you’re not on the volleyball court, what are you most likely doing?
EH: If I’m not on the court, I’m either taking naps, laying out in the sun, jamming out to the latest music, hanging around with the volleyball girls or running errands.
Ohiobobcats.com: Are you a fan of any other sports? What teams or players do you follow?
EH: There really isn’t a sport that I don’t like, so I really can’t pick a favorite team or athlete that I watch frequently.
Ohiobobcats.com: Complete this sentence: ‘The best thing about being a Bobcat is ...’
EH: ... that even when you drive away from campus for a day or a year, when you drive in and see the university, you always get that feeling of home in your stomach!