New players gear up for last season in C-USA
Head coach Kaddie Platt will welcome four new additions to the UH volleyball team for the 2012 season.
Transfers Abby Simmons (Utah), Cortney Warren (Alabama) and Kaiti Waters (Houston Baptist) will join freshman Shelby Vance as incoming student-athletes for the Cougars in their final season in C-USA competition.
Given that UH lost All-American Lucy Charuk and outside hitter Ingrida Zauere — two major offensive weapons in the past several seasons — to graduation, the eight returning Cougars hope to utilize the incoming players for a more up-tempo style offense.
“These girls are really used to a face pace of play,” returning setter Caitlin Ogletree said. “Given that our pace of play is going to be a lot quicker than last year now that we’ve lost Lucy (Charuk), it’ll really be great for these girls to step in and not miss a beat.”
At middle blocker, Houston Baptist University transfer Kaiti Waters brings much needed experience under first-year head coach Platt, who spent 17 seasons at HBU before accepting the job at UH.
In her freshman year, Waters was an integral part of HBU’s net game and helped lead the Huskies to a 22-9 overall record and third-place finish in the Great West Conference.
“Kaiti has stepped right in and knew what was expected,” Ogletree said. “She’s spent time with coach Kaddie at HBU, so she understands what coach is pushing here with this team. I think in the long-term it’ll be great to have someone who understands the system and has a lot of experience playing under this staff.”
Setter Abby Simmons, who has been nominated three times to the Mountain West All-Academic Team, joins the Cougars from the University of Utah.
Simmons will look to compete for the starting setter position with Ogletree, who earned the starting nod from former UH head coach Molly Alvey in her freshman year. Although she racked up impressive numbers and earned three C-USA Setter of the Week awards in the 2011 season, Ogletree does not assume her position is locked for the 2012 season.
“I think everything is up for grabs right now,” Ogletree said. “She brings in tough competition, and with the system changing a little, I hope I can push her and she can push me. I’m excited to compete again and really dig in with these new girls.”
UH will open the 2012 season August 24 at the Sports Import Classic at Ohio State.