Volleyball set to welcome seven new players this fall

Lauren Bedford
Emily Dang
Katie Johnston
Caitlin Lee
Katie McCormack
Mollie Peavy
Olivia Schmitz

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The 2012 Birmingham-Southern volleyball team will feature seven new faces on the court with the inclusion of seven incoming freshmen, Head Coach Judy Green announced today.

Lauren Bedford, Emily Dang, Katie Johnston, Caitlin Lee, Katie McCormack, Mollie Peavy, and Olivia Schmitz will join the Panthers on the court this fall.

Bedford is a native of Trussville, Ala., and was a letterwinner at Hewitt-Trussville High School where she played outside hitter and middle back, although she will move to the libero position at BSC. She was a three-year team captain and named to the All-Area Team from 2009-12. Bedford, the daughter of Michael and Wendy Bedford, was also named Second-Team All-State in 2011 and was a member of the 2011 North All-Star Team. She also excelled in the classroom and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society.

Dang is from Huntsville, Ala., where she attended The Randolph School. The 5-7 athlete played both outside hitter and setter and will be a setter and utility player for the Panthers. Dang, the daughter of Manh and Karen Dang, was First-Team All-State in 2011 and 2012, 2011 All-Region, and earned the 2012 Coach's Award. She also was named 2011 Triple Crown Standout Athlete and 2010 and 2011 Team MVP. Dang also landed a spot on the 2008 All-Tournament Team. She was a member of the National Latin Honor Society and National Junior Classical League, and received a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement in World Craft Traditions in 2010.

Johnston is a 6-2 outside hitter from Covington, Ga., where she lettered at Eastside High School. She was a three-time All-State selection (2009-2011), a four-time All-Region selection (2008-2011), and 2011 Player of the Year. Johnston, the daughter of Ronnie and Kelley Johnston, was also named Player of the Week by both the Covington News and Newton Citizen multiple times, and she also led the state in service aces in 2010 and 2011.

Lee is a 5-8 setter from Enterprise High School in Enterprise, Ala. She was a three-year team captain, 2011 MVP of the Enterprise Invitational, and 2011 member of the Wiregrass Super 12. Lee, the daughter of James and Candice Lee, was also a 2012 Honor Senior and member of the National Honor Society.

McCormack is a 5-8 outside hitter and defensive specialist from Germantown, Tenn., where she lettered at St. George's Independent School. She helped lead the Gryphons to the 2010 and 2011 state titles and was named to the All-Region Team both of those seasons. McCormack, the daughter of Ann and the late Jim McCormack, also made the 2010 All-Tournament Team and earned the 2011 Team Coach's Award. She was named to the Commercial Appeal Best of the Preps in 2010 and 2011 and was Commercial Appeal Female Athlete of the Week in 2011. McCormack was also a member of the Headmaster's List in 2008, 2009, and 2012, and was a four-year Honor Roll member. She was a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the National Spanish, English, History, and Art Honor Societies.

Peavy is a right side hitter out of Murphy High School in Mobile, Ala. She was named Second-Team All-State in 2011 and earned All-County honors in 2010 and 2011. Peavy, the daughter of Ken and Ruthie Peavy, also helped lead her team to the final four of the state tournament in 2009 and the elite eight in 2008. She earned Player of the Week honors several times throughout her career. Peavy also was a member of the National Honor Society, German Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, and AB Honor Roll.

Schmitz is a 5-11 outside and right side hitter from Our Lady of Mercy High School in Peachtree City, Ga. She was a 2011 All-State selection and was named All-Area in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Schmitz, the daughter of Bill and Holly Schmitz, was also named to the 2009 All-Tournament Team and was a 2011 Senior All-Star. She was also named National Player of the Week in 2011 by MaxPreps.com. Off the court, Schmitz was Student Council President from 2009-2011, Drama Club Vice President from 2010-11, and starred in the spring musicals all four years of her high school career. She also was the Student-Led Retreat Director in 2011.

"This is an exceptional recruiting class for us," Coach Green said. "I feel that each one of these seven student-athletes brings something unique to the volleyball court. They are all tremendous athletes, dedicated students, and people of character. They complement our returning players and will certainly make our practice gym more competitive."

The Panthers open the 2012 season Aug. 31 at the Huntingdon Invitational in Montgomery, Ala. Their first home matches are Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23, against Southern Athletic Association rivals Sewanee and Centre. For a complete schedule, click here.