UC Clermont volleyball claims first national championship

Team takes Small College Division II title

The University of Cincinnati Clermont College women’s volleyball team has clinched the 2021 United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II national championship, the program’s first national title.

The Cougars swept Penn State Mont Alto 3-0 Nov. 13 to win at the national tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Head coach Josh Hamer attributed his team’s success to players who were not only hardworking and talented but also committed to the program’s core values, which include “grind, grit and gratitude.”

“Every day they worked hard to be better versions of themselves on and off the court,” Hamer said. “They put team goals above personal agendas.”

Besides the squad’s milestone victory, four players also were honored as USCAA academic all-Americans: Kasey Bryant (setter, Oak Hills High School); Kara Heckmuller (middle hitter, Oak Hills High School); Maura Holscher (setter, Mother of Mercy High School) and Alaina Smith (opposite hitter, Oak Hills High School).

Setter Zoe England (Glen Este High School) earned the honor of first team all-American for the third straight year and was joined this season by Heckmuller. Sarah Andrews (middle/opposite/outside hitter) was named a second team all-American.

England also was named USCAA national tournament most valuable player. Heckmuller and Isabella Melotik (defensive specialist, Immaculate Conception Academy) were named to the all-tournament team.

“I’m so proud of the culture of our program,” Hamer said, “and the relationships we have built over the past six seasons.”

Play-by-play details for the Cougars’ championship match can be found by visiting https://www.theuscaa.com/sports/wvball/index. Learn more about UC Clermont women’s volleyball at https://ucclermont.edu/athletics/womensvolleyball.html.

Featured image: The University of Cincinnati Clermont College women’s volleyball team won the 2021 United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II national championship. Photo/Brian Sullivan, UC Clermont athletic director.