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February 20, 2020
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The UC Clermont College women’s volleyball team had an outstanding 2018 season. The Cougars spent much of the season as the top-ranked team in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II. Head Coach Josh Hamer was crowned Division II Coach of the Year, and Clermont had three players named First-Team All-Americans.
So it was heartbreaking when the top-seeded Cougars fell narrowly in the national semifinals to Christendom College, and it was a loss the Cougars are dedicated to avenging in 2019.
“It’s hard to get to the top, but it’s even harder to stay there,” Hamer said. “Our biggest challenge is to prove we’re the best Division II volleyball team in the USCAA.”
Hamer returns an incredibly talented roster as the Cougars look to repeat their regular season success. Clermont will be led by returning First-Team All-Americans Kelsie Holland (senior libero) and Zoe England (junior setter). Other key players include sophomore Olivia Langefeld, junior Hannah Holscher and her sister, sophomore Maura Holscher. Hamer also has some talented incoming first-year students, including middle hitter Sara Andrews, Grace Howard, Taylor Ross and Alaina Smith.
Looking ahead, the Penn State Beaver Tournament Aug. 30 and 31 will be one of the biggest showdowns for Clermont this season, as the Cougars will get to face off with rival Penn State Fayette (Clermont went 2-2 against Penn State last season) and Maine Fort Kent, a Division I team.
Ultimately, Hamer is pleased with his team’s competitiveness.
“We are a confident, cohesive unit capable of beating anyone we play,” he said. “Our players believe in each other and trust each other.”
While Clermont is starting from a position of strength, Hamer said, success will only come from improving as the season progresses.
“It’s about the process of becoming better players, better coaches, better teammates and better people,” he said. “If we focus on the process and the things we can control, everything else will take care of itself.”
See the UC Clermont women’s volleyball 2019 schedule.