OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University volleyball coach Carolyn Condit announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Olivia Rusek (Skokie, Ill./Niles West), Maeve McDonald (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids), Katie Tomasic (Livonia, Mich./Livonia Stevenson) and Courtney Bemis (DeKalb, Ill./DeKalb) will begin play for the RedHawks during the 2014 season.
"I have had the satisfaction of bringing many talented classes to Miami,” said Condit. “This particular class may prove to be the best volleyball class yet. Collectively, their competitive style of play, their athleticism and their solid background of high level high school and club volleyball will impact our program's success sooner than later. The ‘icing on the cake’ is that they each seem to thrive on good competition, they understand the concept of TEAM and they are highly motivated as students."
Rusek is a four-year letterwinner for Niles West High School in Skokie, Ill. She finished with 1,009 kills during her four-year career and led the team to three regional titles. An All-Conference player each of the past three seasons, she also had 95 aces, 169 blocks and 672 digs for her high school career. Rusek played her club volleyball for the Wildcat Juniors.
"Olivia is a natural athlete who will excel at the net for Miami due to her competitive nature and a work ethic that would make any coach proud,” said Condit. “Her explosive jumping ability allows her to show solid versatility as a left-side hitter, along with an impressive block. Olivia also has gained valuable experience passing at top level competition and should prove to be successful in all six rotations.”
McDonald is a three-year letterwinner for East Grand Rapids High School, who has spent time as both a setter and a libero for the Pioneers. She is a 2013 nominee for Miss Volleyball in Michigan, after earning honorable mention All-State honors in 2012 and Second-Team All-State in 2011. She has averaged 8.3 assists and 2.7 digs per set throughout her career and has led East Grand Rapids to a 44-5 record and a District Championship as a senior in 2013. Her team will be competing for a regional championship this weekend. She played her club volleyball for the Saints Juniors in Grand Rapids.
"Maeve will be one of the most versatile athletes to join our program as a libero, as she has helped her high school team to high success this season in the role of setter as well,” said Condit. “Her court instincts and game intelligence will match her fine defense and passing skills. Her calm demeanor often veils how aggressive and effective she is on defense. "
Tomasic is a four-year letterwinner for Livonia Stevenson High School as an outside hitter. She has led the Spartans to a 2013 district and will be competing for a regional championship this weekend. Tomasic is a two-time All-Area, All-Conference and All-Region selection (2011 and 2012) and was selected Third-Team All-State in 2013. During her first three years of high school she had 1,219 kills and set a school single-season record with 587 kills in 2011. She played her club volleyball for A2 Volleyball Club in Michigan.
"Katie is an outstanding six-rotation player who will bring the full package of power, ball control and a strong block to our program,” said Condit. “She has participated on a variety of high level teams including the High Performance Championships and is a pure athlete with a big jump. She is capable of handling herself well at both the right and left antenna and will be a real difference maker on the court."
Bemis is a four-year letterwinner for DeKalb High School, where she played both the outside and middle hitter positions. She was named to the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference team in both 2012 and 2013 and was named All-Area in 2012. She led the Barbs to a 29-6 record as a senior and a No. 10 ranking in the state of Illinois. She finished with 242 kills and a .381 hitting percentage in 2013. She played her club volleyball for the Kane County Juniors, where she led the team to the Phoenix Volleyball Festival championship in the U18-Open division during her freshman year.
"Courtney brings many fine qualities to our program including strong blocking skills, the ability to terminate, a strong work ethic and the desire to learn and improve,” said Condit. “She will add more size to our front line, along with a solid understanding of the game. She boasts the versatility to terminate from the outside positions as well as on quicker tempo sets.”
The 2013 edition of the RedHawks will conclude their season this week when they play at Buffalo on Friday at 7 p.m. and at Akron on Saturday at 5 p.m.