DeKalb volleyball standout Courtney Bemis already was leaning toward verbally committing to Miami of Ohio, but she wanted to have one last look at the campus when she attended this week’s camp at the Mid-American Conference school.
She saw what she needed to see.
At the end of camp Wednesday, with a few commits standing next to her along with the coaching staff, the senior outside hitter informed coach Carolyn Condit that she’d be joining the Redhawks in 2014.
“I just wanted to be in camp one more time and just meet some of the incoming players and the players who were already there, and it just felt like the right place, for sure,” Bemis said. “They all cheered, it was kind of fun. [Condit] said how excited she was.”
After her senior year, Bemis will join a program that has qualified for the NCAA tournament twice in the past five years but struggled to a 10-20 record in 2012 while going 4-12 in the MAC.
The Daily Chronicle All-Area first teamer racked up 270 kills as an outside hitter for the Barbs last season, but she said the Redhawks are looking at her mainly as a middle blocker, at least for now.
“When I was at camp, I was doing a lot of middle stuff and that’s kind of what they’ve been recruiting me as,” Bemis said. “But they also said that you never really know how things are going to end up and people get switched around, people get hurt. Plus, I have experience on the outside with school, so things can end up differently.”
Bemis originally verbally committed to play for Wisconsin last year, but she said it “wasn’t the right fit anymore” after the Badgers changed coaches.
She re-opened her recruitment in early spring and looked at Alabama and Ball State before picking the Redhawks, with whom she’ll visit the NIU campus every other year.
In switching her commitment from Wisconsin to Miami, Bemis has shifted from a program in flux to a stable team.
Condit has coached the Redhawks for the last 29 years, and she signed a four-year contract extension this offseason after reaching the 500-win milestone in 2012.
“[Condit] is honestly the nicest woman,” Bemis said. “You can tell she cares a lot about the players and a lot about the game. She said she would take good care of me when I get there … She’s someone I can trust in.”
Almost a year after she originally thought the recruiting process was done, the calls and emails with coaches and the college visits and camps are finally over. While it didn’t go quite as she planned, Bemis is just fine with the way her college decision turned out.
“It’s had its enjoyable moments,” she said of her recruitment. “It gets overwhelming and it gets stressful, but I like the way it’s ended up … I feel really really good about [the decision]. It’s a nice thing to have figured out. I feel like I definitely ended up where I’m supposed to be, so I feel really good.”