Ogletree takes on leadership role
Oddly enough, the first time Caitlin Ogletree ever visited the University of Houston, she cried.
“My mom literally dragged me here on my official visit. It was the only week I didn’t have volleyball,” Ogletree laughed at the memory.
From a rather bleak and dreary beginning, she quickly warmed up to the idea of being a Cougar.
“I fell in love with UH Athletics and how they were part of a growing program,” Ogletree said. “Now that I am here and I’m getting experience, with academics and athletics, it’s a privilege to be a part of that.”
As if falling in love with the school wasn’t good enough, Ogletree has become a key member of the squad, with head coach Kaddie Platt going as far to praise her as a natural born leader.
“Her greatest gift is she makes the players around her better,” Platt said. “It doesn’t matter who she’s playing with; her teams always win because she’s a winner.”
“She’s absolutely amazing,” said senior Stephanie Nwachukwu. “I love Caitlin; she’s always on fire. She loves volleyball so she makes you want to work so hard just for her and the team. She always pushes me to be better.”
Her gung-ho attitude has helped her advance in competitive volleyball.
“There’s a huge difference between club play and high school play than coming into Division One,” Ogletree said. “I’ve never realized how much I could push myself.”
Along with the freshmen, the University has recruited some coaches as well.
“The new coaches are awesome,” Ogletree said. “I feel like they bring a completely different mindset to the game. We’ve learned so many new things.”
She’s just as quick to praise her teammates.
“Everyone is becoming a more versatile player. In practice, everyone is almost working on every position. That’s been great for us.”
After being named fifth in a pre-season C-USA poll, a lot of pressure rests on Ogletree and her teammates.
“That made some of us a little mad,” Ogletree said. “A conference title is a huge goal for us. Definitely a conference title and definitely making it to a tournament have been goals for us, especially for the returning players. You gotta do what you gotta do.”