Fleming fills middle gaps in volleyball

Dave Fleming knew exactly what he was looking for during the early recruiting period for volleyball.

Middle blockers.

The Mesa State College volleyball coach landed two, and found a setter to boot. And he’s not finished, although he won’t sign anyone else until this spring.

Fleming landed 5-foot-11 middle blocker Courtney Searls from Upland, Calif., 6-1 middle blocker Rachael Beaty of Farmington, N.M., and 5-7 setter Kendra Glendenning from Clovis, Calif.

Fleming knew he needed to build some depth in the middle of the front line, where he had only two healthy middles at any one time this season.

“I think both will be able to play right away,” Fleming said. “Courtney is fast and Rachael is more physical, can get up and hit the ball hard. Both can play other positions across the front row. They could both be right sides right away and could develop into left side.”

Beaty plays club volleyball for former Mesa State standout Terene Foutz and was the district player of the year at Piedra Vista High School.

The Mavericks also were down to only one setter this season, so the addition of Glendenning will help that position.

“Kendra is playing all the time,” Fleming said. “If she’s not playing indoor, she’s playing outdoor. She goes to the beach a lot. She’s got a great volleyball IQ. If she’s not setting, she’ll play someplace on the floor. She’ll make us better.”

The Mavericks, who finished second in the RMAC tournament, lose middle blocker Jessica Bird and libero Ashley Loftsgard to graduation, and freshman outside hitter Corinne
Cascioppo has decided to leave the program and pursue Division I volleyball. Cascioppo had signed with Southern California out of high school but didn’t meet Division I academic standards, and still has Division I schools interested in her, Fleming said.

“If these are the three we have in the fall we’d be perfectly happy,” he said. “But we’re actively recruiting a libero and an outside hitter. We’re looking for an outside who can play that sixth rotation, all the way around like Ali (Tompkins).”


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