Aug. 17, 2012
Contact: Renee Adam
CLEVELAND, Ohio - A pair of seniors from the 2011 Cleveland State volleyball team will be continuing on the volleyball path this year, as Amy Grabiec will be playing sand volleyball at Louisiana-Monroe and Kourtney Volkmer will serve as the head volleyball coach at Indiana Tech.
Grabiec, who finished her Viking career ranked second in the CSU record book with 1,481 digs, will be part of the inaugural sand volleyball team at ULM. Women's sand volleyball, which is listed as a spring sport, was recently recognized by the NCAA as an emerging sport with competition beginning at the Division I level during the 2011-12 academic year.
"I am so excited to have the opportunity to play sand volleyball and I am really looking forward to the new experience," Grabiec said. "Throughout my career at CSU I worked really hard to become an elite athlete indoors and now when I transition to sand volleyball I am basically starting at the bottom because it is such a different game. I will have to train really hard to go from only playing defense at CSU to also having to play offense and attack in the sand volleyball game.
"Earlier this summer I actually went out to California to train for a few weeks and was fortunate enough to make the USA Volleyball U26 Training Team. While I was there I worked with USA coaches and trainers, including some trainers who have worked with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings. Hopefully everything I have learned so far will enable me to be a successful part of the ULM sand volleyball team."
The ULM sand volleyball program will begin its first season of competitive play in the spring of 2013.
"I am so grateful for all of the opportunities and experiences I had while being a student-athlete at Cleveland State, being a Viking is something that will stick with me forever," Grabiec said.
Grabiec graduated from Cleveland State in May of 2012, earning a degree in health sciences.
Volkmer, who was a two-year letterwinner at Cleveland State, was recently named the head volleyball coach at Indiana Tech, an NAIA school in Fort Wayne, Ind. She became the third head coach for the Warriors since the volleyball program was reinstated in 2005.
"The process of becoming a head coach at Indiana Tech has been a very smooth transition because of all the support and mentorships that I have at Cleveland State," Volkmer said. "Chuck (Voss) and Phil (Abiad) have helped me out in so many different ways and I couldn't have asked for two better coaches throughout my career as a student-athlete. The coaching and administrative staff here at Indiana Tech has been awesome as well, and I am so excited to become a part of the Warrior family."
The Warriors have had much success since being reinstated, posting an overall record of 203-70 over seven seasons. The four-time WHAC Championship program has also had five NAIA All-Americans and eight NAIA/AVCA All-Region players.
"Three of the most important things that I learned while being a student-athlete at CSU were organizational skills, time management and leadership. These are just a few of the qualities that I am trying to instill in my athletes here at Tech," Volkmer said. "The sense of Viking pride was a huge feeling at Cleveland State and that is something that we practice at Indiana Tech. We live it and breath it just like I did as a Viking and hopefully they will remember that forever just like I will."
Indiana Tech will begin the 2012 season next weekend, participating in three early season tournaments before beginning WHAC play.
"I am so thankful for the opportunity that I received at Cleveland State and will always be proud to be a Viking and bleed green. However, I am now on to the next step in my life and beyond excited to lead these student-athletes in their next chapter. My experience at CSU will never falter and I am more than grateful to all the people who believed in me and helped me along the way," Volkmer said.
Volkmer graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cleveland State in May of 2012, earning a degree in early childhood education.
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