SOUTH BEND — Two local athletes will be in the lineup as the first-ever Indiana University South Bend varsity volleyball team hits the court for its opener against Purdue Calumet on Thursday.
Culver Community freshman opposite hitter Patrice McBee, and NorthWood sophomore defensive specialist Bethany Brewer will be on IUSB’s inaugural squad for the 2011 season.
Despite beginning the season with ten new players, head coach Jamie Ashmore doesn’t feel that her team has any excuses once it steps on the court. “They’ve worked very hard to come together as a team,” she said. “This is a talented bunch.”
“I know that we will be ready the morning of that first match. We will be prepared.”
Without a past on which to lean, Ashmore and hear team know that they will always be part of something special.
“They’re excited. They want to get going,” she said. “They know that they are a part of history here. The whole team, they’ve all told their friends and relatives.”
The squad is young but talented and will feature just two upperclass players in junior setter Chloe McCotter (Battle Creek, MI/Lakeview) and fellow junior Brittaney Elsasser (Mishawaka), a defensive specialist.
Ashmore will lean heavily on the younger classes. Along with Brewer, the other sophomores are middle hitter Michelle Chupp (New Paris/Homeschool) and Taylor Armington (Wakarusa/ Elkhart Christian Academy).
The freshman class will feature four players in McBee, Danielle Rose (Warsaw/Whitko), Krystle Troyer (Elkhart Memorial) and Andrea Clevenger (South Bend Clay).
“There will be people coming who live 45 minutes away and who aren’t part of IU South Bend, but just because they want to see the first match,” Ashmore said.
The team will play its second match at home as well, when it hosts Calumet College on Saturday with a first serve of 1 p.m.