VB: Trio of middles expect big things in 2013
Aug 22, 2013
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas – The UT Arlington volleyball team has been hard at work preparing for its upcoming 2013 season. The Maverick middle blockers – Charmaine Whitmore, Ashley Bennett and Briana Sharratt – are practicing to be just as prominent in the Sun Belt Conference this year.
Whitmore, a 6-1 senior, transferred to UTA prior to the start of the 2012 season from the University of Arkansas. In her first season as a Maverick, Whitmore started 27 matches as a middle blocker. She led the team with 119 total blocks (1.21/set) and was third with a .219 attack percentage. Whitmore was also fifth on the team in kills with 178, averaging 1.82 per set.
Bennett, a 6-1 junior from McKinney, started all 31 sets as a middle blocker for UTA last season. She finished second on the team in both total blocks with 104 (0.92/set) and in attack percentage with .230. Bennett was fourth on the team with 189 kills, averaging 1.67 per set.
Joining Whitmore and Bennett in the middle blocker position will be 6-1 freshman Sharratt. The Aledo, Texas native was a three-year letterwinner for Aledo and was named first team All-District and District 7-4A MVP in 2012 as a senior.
All three Mavericks are ready to begin Sun Belt play and bring great things to the court in a new conference this season.
"My goal is to get playing time this year," Sharratt said. "I'm going to try to work hard to follow everything the coaches and the girls (Whitmore and Bennett) are telling me so I can improve."
"I want to be a more positive influence on the team this season," Whitmore said. "I'm a very loud and emotional player and I want to channel that to help my teammates more. I'm confident in my offense but right now I feel like I could be better defensively and get more touches on blocks."
Bennett added: "I'm excited because we aren't familiar with the players in the Sun Belt so there's nothing to be intimidated by. I think us as middles will be a shocking factor to some teams because we have completely different playing styles."
UTA opens the 2013 campaign at College Park Center Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. against Abilene Christian University. The Mavericks will close the 2013 UTA Hilton Invitational Saturday, Aug. 31 with a 1:30 p.m. match against Grambling State followed by a bout with former WAC rival Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m.