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EVA Commits by Graduating Years

2023

  • Romani Thurman - University of North Carolina, D1
  • Abigail Lagemann - University of South Carolina, D1 (Beach VB)
  • Jenna DeLaMater - Sant Louis University, D1
  • Olivia Wiedower, Harding University, D2
  • Kenzie Garrett, Arkansas Tech University, D2
  • Daylee Atkins, Arkansas Tech University, D2
  • Mariana Leite, Hendrix College, D3

2022

  • Laci Bohannan - University of Central Arkansas, D1
  • Millie Allgood - Texas A&M University Commerce, D1
  • Haley Fairchild - Ouachita Baptist University, D2
  • Lydia Hale - Arkansas Tech, D2
  • Kenedi Wyrick, Ottawa College, D2
  • Kinely Siepert - Williams Baptist University, NAIA
  • Olivia Jackson - Gettysburg College, D3

2021

  • Sam Fergunson - Lyons College, NAIA
  • Jaiyah Jackson - Blue Mountain College, NAIA
  • Catalina Williams - Hendrix College, D3
  • Skylar Goff - Millsaps College, D3
  • Kenedi Brunen - Hendrix College (Beach VB) - D3

Romani Thurman 2023

Committed to University of North Carolina, D1

 

Laci Bohannan 2022

Committed to Arkansas State University
D1

Abigail Lagemann 2023

Committed to Texas Christian University, D1 (Beach VB)

Jaiyah Jackson 2021

Committed to Blue Mountain College, Mississippi 
NAIA

Millie Allgood 2022

Committed to Texas A&M University Commerce, D1

Kinley Siepert 2022

Committed to Williams Baptist University, Arkansas
 

Jenna DeLaMater 2023

Committed to St. Louis University, D1

Samantha Ferguson 2021

Committed to Lyons College
NAIA

Haley Fairchild 2022

Committed to Ouachita Baptist University, D2 

 

Kenedi Brunen 2021

Committed to Hendrix
College, D3

Olivia Jackson 2022

Committed to Gettysburg College, D3

Lydia Hale 2022

Committed to Arkansas Tech University, D2

Catalina Williams 2021

Committed to Hendrix College 

Skylar Goff 2021

Committed to Millsaps College 

Connect Volleyball - Recruting Database

Connect Volleyball provides access to college coaches through it's comprehensive database that offers searching through all NCAA, NAIA, and Junior Colleges. Everything is listed in one place with all the information under their fingertips with streamline communication built in. This will make the process a lot more organized and info accessible while providing players with recruiting platform and video library to easily share to any coach and university they seek an opportunity with. Video library besides simplifying sharing video with coaches it offers tools to create highlight videos with special features to bring attention to the player sharing them. 

Recruiting Guide

Do you have aspirations to play volleyball in college?   Is getting an athletic scholarship on your list of goals? 

Recruiting process can be overwhelming for parents and players so where should you start? 

First of, why would you think that we at EVA have the knowledge to help you?  Nine of our head coaches were student-athletes and have gone through the recruiting process themselves.  In addition to personal experience as a player our Club Director, Tanja Eckart has collegiate coaching experience as a former assistant coach at FIU (Florida Int'l University in Miami, NCAA Div I). During her tenure, she had first hand experience as a recruiter and provides a balanced knowledge of the process from both the student-athlete and coaches perspectives. 

Over the last seven years, Coach Eckart has offered recruiting assistance to many athletes in the Central AR area who were asking "Can you help us with the recruiting process," and "Where to start?"  Below is the list of things to get you started in your recruiting process.  Over the years Coach Eckart had the pleasure to be invited to a signing of the NLI (National Letter of Intent) for multiple athletes whom she helped in training and the recruiting process. 

With connect volleyball, we have purchased super roster for 25 EVA players who are serious about seeking opportunities to keep playing in college and are committed to EVA program at the top level.  

1. Be realistic about your skill level to know which level and schools to pursue in your recruiting process.  This does not mean that you lowball your dream and expectation but rather be focused on targeting the right schools where you have a great chance to participate, make a difference and have a great studen-athlete experience. I always say: "There is a place for everyone".  If playing in college is your goal and you are actively working towards this goal then it is possible. There are many levels and divisions (Junior College, NAIA, NCAA Division 1, 2 and 3). Again, being realistic does not mean you don't dream big and and have high goals, but rather making sure you are targeting appropriate levels where you have a chance to compete for the spot on the roster.  

Things to know and understand about different divisions - for example there are over 300 NCAA division 1 schools.  Within those 300+ schools there are many different playing levels which make div. 1 schools not out of the reach skill-level wise.  There is the cream of the crop with the top 50 school who really stand out and recruit top-level athletes in the country, as well as a large group of mid-major div. 1 schools and further down the list to low-major schools (probably last 100 from the list).  Just because school is division 1 (and it's based on the number of scholarships they offer) does not always mean they are the top level in that particular sport (some division 2 programs play higher level volleyball then many mid or low-major division 1). 
That's the first thing to understand - just because the school belongs to division 1 does not make it out of reach.      

2. What are your academic interests?  Once you have assessed your skill level and you are looking at different schools, you have to look into their academic offering and department strengths as you are hoping to be a Student-Athlete one day (take a note that STUDENT comes first and ATHLETE second).  Many high school students don't know exactly what major they would love to study, but you have to have some general idea of majors you are showing interest in and making sure those are offered at the school you are hoping to play volleyball for!

3. As you are doing your school research in hope to locate a volleyball and academic fit ask yourself: If I remove volleyball out of the equation, do I want to be at this school anyway? 

Career-ending injuries happen, team (coach/player) misfits happen, coaches are fired or leave ... things don't always work out as we hope so you must know that the school you chose is the right choice for you WITHOUT volleyball. 
You might think "well I can transfer" - sure that's an option but you need to take all precautions in doing your research and feel strongly about your school choice.  You first want to pick the school based on the academic offering and know that you want to get your degree from that institution one day.  Speaking of transferring, that's a whole new set of rules to understand and know as going from one institution to another (for instance...were you granted a release or not, are you able to transfer majority of your earned credits or transfer will set you back academically...)?   

4. What other things to consider when choosing a school besides academic (they offer your major) and volleyball fit (skill level wise you have a chance)?

  • In-state or out-of state
  • Proximity to home (driving distance, must fly)
  • Size of the school (auditorium or small size classrooms)
  • Traditional vs. Non-traditional campus 
  • Location of the school (big city, small town)
  • Volleyball program (winning, losing,)
  • Coach (personality, coaching style, new coach rebuilding program, established coach with great reputation, what do players think about the coach and his/her coaching style) 
  • Team roster (what are their recruiting needs the year you graduate, are you a senior setter in high school and they have freshman and sophomore setter on the roster already)
  • What's their student-athlete graduating rate (do they have a lot of turnover or reading the roster you see returning players year after year)
  • Academic support system for student-athletes (how important are academics on this team/program, most schools have good support system with adviser and tutors but it's good to look into it further to see if they have  Student-Athletes Academic Center and more)

5. You are your own best recruiter and you must be active in the recruiting process - can't sit back and wait to be recruited (unless you are one of the top 10 recruits in the country and top schools are "fighting over you"). 
What does being active in the recruiting process mean?

  • Research schools
  • Research volleyball programs
  • Reach out to coaches (no mass emails please - all written to the specific coach personally)
  • Write you own emails to coaches (not your parents)
  • Have highlight video made and attached to emails (coach has to be able to immediately look at your skill and assess if you would fit into what they are looking for in your position
  • Make sure your video showcases you and your skills in the best way
  • Invite coaches to see you play (include tournament name, location, your team name, your jersey number, playing time, court number)
  • Go watch the team play of the school you are interested to play for if you want to see the coach in action (pay attention to how they interact with the team, observe players and how respectful they are in their communication, non-verbal, eye contact towards the coach and the staff)
  • Follow up on your email
  • Be prompt in your communication
  • Know the rules (if coaches are in dead period and can't communicate back to you)
  • Be persistent (you will not send one email and be done with the process)
  • ...

I will keep improving the list and adding more detail but this is a good start for you in the recruiting process.    Here is where to contact me for more info about the recruiting process: Tanja Eckart, eckartvolleyball@gmail.com or 501-940-0608

List of Universities and Coaches

Here is the list of coaches and universities (linked to vb program) that we would be able to personally contact in the process of assisting you in the recruiting.  These are the coaches that I got to know or befriend or get to know through being in volleyball as a college and a professional player as well as an FIU coach.  List will be ever evolving but here are few for the start: 

Kevin Hambly, Head Coach Stanford University, CA
Danijela Tomic, Head Coach at Bowling Green State University, OH  
Travis Hudson, Head Coach at Western Kentucky University, KY
Sanja Tomasevic, Head Coach at Arizona State University, AZ
Mary Wise, Head Coach at University of Florida, FL
Eve Rackham, Head Coach at Tennessee University, TN
Michelle Collier, Head Coach at Georgia Tech, GA
Sheera Sirola, Head Coach at Oral Roberts University, OK
Kera Dukic, Head Coach at Arkansas Tech University, AR
Origenes "Kiko" Benoit, Head Coach at Miami Dade College, FL
Michelle Piantadosi, Head Coach at Eckerd College, FL
Stephanie Irwin, Head Coach at Central Baptist College, AR
Van Compton, Head Coach at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, AR
Becca Acevedo, Assistant Coach at Winthrop Athletics, SC
Travers Green, Assistant Coach at Mississippi State, MS
Alvaro Sanchez, Assistant Coach at Bethune-Cookman, FL
Chris Poole, Head Coach at Florida State University, FL
Dustin Sahlmann, Head Coach at Lyon College, AR
Wes Hart, Assistant Coach at Lyon College, AR 
James "Jimmy" Exley, Head Coach at Johnson & Wales University, FL
Jenny Michael, Lincoln Memorial University, TN
Melissa Wolter, Head Coach at University of West Florida
Philip McDaniel, Head Coach at Henderson State University, AR
Jeni Jones Chatman, Head Coach at University of Central Arkansas, AR
John Newberry, Assistant Coach at UCA
Brittany Newberry, Head Coach at Hendrix College
MC Rogers, Head Beach Coach at Hendrix College 
Carlos Huaroto-Luque, Head Coach at Florida National University, FL
Jackson Lenoir, Assistant at Christian Brothers University, TN
Justin Dee, Head coach at Belhaven University, MS
Santiago Restrepo, Head Coach at Arkansas State University
Allison Frizzell-Kizer, Head Coach at Ouachita Baptist University, AR 
Meredith Fear, Head Coach at Harding University, AR
Travis Leblanc, Assistant Coach at Austin Peay State University, TN
Marcus Hereford, Assistant Coach at Jackson State University, MS
Priscilla Morgan, Head Coach at Itawamba Community College
Rob Chilcoat, Assistant Coach at South Alabama University 
Christa Hutchinson-Fabre, Assistant Coach at Union University
Laura and Dave Ulrich, Assistant Coaches at Texas Women's University
Megan Wargo-Kearney, Associate Head Coach North Carolina State University  

Interactive Map with list of all Universities and Colleges in Delta Region

which have women's volleyball program

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Want to participate in your local community? Become a  sponsor for Elite Volleyball Academy and support youth in your area.

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Want to participate in your local community? Become a  sponsor for Elite Volleyball Academy and support youth in your area.