Wheaton volleyball welcomes new coach, recruits
The Wheaton College volleyball will hit the floor this fall with a new coach and several new players, according to the school's website.
Stephanie Schmidt replaces Brittany Smith as head coach after leading the volleyball squad in North Central University (NCU) in Minnesota for five years. In 2015, she led the NCU Rams to the National Christian College Athletic Association tournament for the first time since 2007.
The team's winning percent grew by 35 percent in his time at NCU, and Schmidt is hoping to do more of the same for the Thunder at Wheaton.
Schmidt has announced four new recruits joining her team at Wheaton.
Alecia Funk is a transfer student from Union University in Tennessee but was born in Carol Stream, Illinois, and attended Wheaton Academy before going to Union. Funk played on the varsity squad at the academy for four years and captained the team during her senior season. Last season as a freshman at Union, she played in 27 sets as a setter and averaged three assists per game.
Another newcomer to the Thunder is Audrey Irwin, an incoming freshman from San Diego. In high school, she helped Cathedral Catholic High School to a 26-10 record. She is a left-handed opposite who also has played for several Southern California club teams.
Kate Ragland of Birmingham, Alabama, comes to Wheaton after attending Evangel Christian School and helping the volleyball team win four consecutive Alabama Christian School Conference titles. She is a defensive specialist who was named a member of the all-conference team in her junior and senior seasons.
The final new recruit is Deb Smith of East Hazel Crest, Illinois. She was a starter for three years on the Illiana Christian High School volleyball team and led the team in kills during her senior year.
The Wheaton College Thunder opens the season on Sept. 1 against Kalamazoo College at the Bluffton University Sommer Spiketakular in Bluffton, Ohio. The Thunder will be on the road for the early part of the season and won’t play a home game until Sept.. 26 against Millikin University.
The regular season will wrap up on Oct. 31 when the Thunder take on Carthage College. The College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament will get underway on Nov. 3.
For more information about the Thunder’s upcoming season or to buy tickets for a game, visit www.athletics.wheaton.com.