Coline Coessens has joined the Volleyball squad as a transfer from University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). Coline's hometown is Brussels, Belgiam.
Coessens is an outside hitter, a position which needed some bolstering for the Cardinal squad, so her transfer couldn't come at a better time. She has also overcome some medical challenges in her path to arrive in the Derby City. In October, in the middle of the volleyball season last year, Coline had one of her lungs collapse. In the surgery to address that, the doctors found a couple of weak spots in her lungs and essentially glued them shut.
This isn't the first time Coline has encountered lung troubles, either. Just before her arrival at UTEP for her freshman year, some health problems led to a CT scan where docters found a part of her lungs that was dead. That necessitated surgery to remove that part of her left lung. The surgery left her in terrible conditioning for her freshman year at UTEP, but she persevered and recovered to the point that she was named to the C-USA All-Freshmen Team that year.
In her career at UTEP, she has tallied more than 20 kills in a match twice, and has recorded 10 double-doubles (in kills and digs), so she's an all-around player that will bolster our defense, as well as our offense.
What does this mean for the Cardinal lineup? After the graduation of Erin Fairs, and the departure of Maya McClendon and Aniah Philo, the UofL hitting line-up looked pretty thin, Coessens will add a little bit of experienced depth back to that lineup. The team also has three incoming freshmen on campus that are hitters, Melanie McHenry, Piper Roe, and Megan Sloan. Piper Roe is a middle, while Melanie typically lines up left side while Megan is usually seen on the right. During spring play Maggie DeJong played mostly back-row due to being limited in jumps from some knee issues she was rehabbing. This might continue in the fall some by putting her in an outside hitting role. This gives an opportunity for the incoming Piper, or rising sophomore Jasmine Bennett, both middle hitters, to compete for the other middle spot (Tess Clark is pretty much a shoe-in for the first middle position). While it's probably still a competition for setter, my guess is we'll see Kali Eaken in that role, or perhaps a 6-2 offense with Kali and Lyndsay Palmer. The other potential setter is Morgan Miller, but I see her being mostly a hitter this year as she, like Janelle Jenkins, is capable of playing anywhere on the court and contributing well. So that means our hitting squad is going to be Janelle Jenkins, Maggie DeJong, Coline Coessens, and then some competition between the freshmen left and rights and Ashley Pettibone. I think that gives the team enough offensive firepower that Gabbie Wiley heads back with her vicious serve as a service specialist and defensive player. Molly Sauer's hold on the Libero jersey doesn't look to be in any real danger.
Overall, it looks to be a very balanced team with lots of all-around talent, and plenty of options to mix and match the line-ups. It should be a great year. Preseason practice should begin sometime around the 12th of August. The annual Red & Black scrimmage is on the 20th, and the season begins on the 26th with the Bowling Green tournament in Bowling Green, OH and a match against Oakland University. Home play starts with The Active Ankle Challenge in Cardinal Arena on September 2nd.