After committing to Wisconsin in August, DeKalb volleyball player Courtney Bemis took comfort in the fact that her school of choice was set, but the 6-foot-2 junior still didn’t know what position she would play down the road.
Throughout club volleyball and during her sophomore year for DeKalb, she had played mostly as a middle blocker. In 2012, coach Ben Fisher moved Bemis to outside hitter, where she flourished during DeKalb’s 29-9 season.
“I was impressed with the amount of progression she made in a position that she really hadn’t played a whole lot,” Fisher said. “For her to... be a six-rotation player, which she really wasn’t doing previously a whole lot, for her to be able to make those improvements and put herself in position to contribute I think is phenomenal.”
While she enjoys playing on the outside, where a player’s biggest responsibility is to be a hitter and accumulate kills, she still doesn’t know where Wisconsin will put her.
“I don’t have a set position that I’m going [to Wisconsin] for, they just see me as a versatile player,” Bemis said. “I can play outside or middle or right side. I’d be a shorter middle or a taller outside.”
Bemis committed to Wisconsin a year after her sister, Emily, committed to Arizona, where the older Bemis is receiving spot minutes during her freshman year.
At Wisconsin, she’ll join DeKalb graduate Courtney Thomas, the Badgers’ starting setter. Bemis will be the third volleyball player from DeKalb to play for a D-I school in four years when she heads to Madison in two years.
“Having [three] Division-I commitments, I think it says a lot about the program and how hard the kids work and how much time and commitment they put into it,” Fisher said.
Before she heads north, Bemis will headline a 2013 DeKalb team that figures to be a favorite to win the Northern Illinois Big 12 East, with almost every player returning. Like her team, which struggled with effort for stretches of the season, Bemis knows that before she plays in college, she needs to improve on playing well in every match.
“There’s so much work to be done in each area,” Bemis said. “I’d really like to get a more aggressive serve, and just have more consistency in that. I have to work on different shots with hitting and get more consistent with that."