Sports

Volleyball nabs NCAA transfer

Sophomore Tiffany Hunnicutt moved from NCAA Division I to NCIA when she transferred to join the John Brown University women’s volleyball team. The team welcomed Hunnicutt’s high-level skills with excitement for the future.

Hunnicutt began her collegiate volleyball career at Lamar University, located in Beaumont, Texas. Her lifelong passion and dedication to volleyball landed her a spot on an NCAA division I team. After three semesters of wearing her Lamar University jersey, she traded it in for one sporting blue and gold, deciding it was time for something new.

“I wanted a change of pace,” she explained. “Lamar is a great school but it wasn’t for me. I wanted a little more focus on my schoolwork, and with the intensity they were at, I couldn’t focus on my schoolwork.”

Hunnicutt began searching for a university to transfer to. After sending out emails to several coaches, she received a response from everyone she contacted.

The Lady Eagles stood out on the list when Stacie Johnson, the women’s volleyball coach, responded with a phone call instead of an email.

“She was the first one to have a phone conversation, so the fact that she contacted me first helped me make a day to come visit before I visited the other schools,” Hunnicutt said.

Johnson was interested in Hunnicutt for many reasons.

“We recruited Tiffany because she is a good fit for JBU volleyball,” Johnson said. “She excels in the classroom and on the court. We are excited because Tiffany will bring strength to our offense on the right side of the net with her height and her left-handed attack.”

The team feels a similar excitement.

“Tiffany is going to be a great addition to the team,” said teammate junior Erin McIlroy. “We’re ready for a fresh start, and this is going to be a good step towards it.”

Hunnicutt is not anxious about team dynamics.

“[The team] was actually one of the biggest factors in me deciding to come here,” she said. “I got along with the team at Lamar but it wasn’t the atmosphere I liked. [The team here] seemed more like the type of team I wanted to be on.”

Her mid-year transfer is beneficial to the team as well.

“This is the best time to come in because it is off season so I can make an established connection with them,” she explained.

Hunnicutt was red shirted her freshman year, enabling her to play for the Lady Eagles three full seasons. She plans on graduating either fall 2016 or spring 2017.