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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
New Indiana Tech volleyball coach Kourtney Volkmer, right, earned the job despite no collegiate head coaching experience.
On campus

22-year-old coach set to lead Warriors

– Kourtney Volkmer came to Indiana Tech hoping to learn. As fate or fortune would have it, she’s doing all the teaching.

Volkmer is 22, after all; fresh out of Cleveland State, where she played volleyball for four years. And when she heard that Indiana Tech was looking for a graduate assistant, Volkmer drove to town for an interview.

What she got was more than she bargained for.

What she got was the head-coaching position at Tech.

Kirsta Solberg, who had built the Warriors into a national power and led them to four straight Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference regular-season titles and three straight tournament championships, had accepted an assistant coaching position at Xavier.

So much for the graduate assistant spot.

“She was going to be a big mentor to me,” Volkmer said. “Then when she left, I took her role.

“She told me she wanted me to apply for the head job. Ninety other applicants applied, as well, and it narrowed down to four.”

Brimming with self-assurance, yet with zero college coaching experience (she had been an assistant with some United States junior teams), Volkmer was given the job.

“I ended up getting a great opportunity,” Volkmer said.

“I could never have turned it down. I couldn’t have come into a better program or school.

“Everybody, whether it has been the athletic family or the community in general, has been very welcoming. I just felt a great connection the first time I came here.”

With two of the top three kill producers returning from last year’s 34-8 team in Kelsey Cox and Kelsea Nova, the Warriors have won three of their first eight matches.

The competition has been stiff. Two of the losses have come against No. 9 Indiana Wesleyan and No. 11 Taylor. And life won’t get easier this weekend in Cleveland, Tenn., where Tech will face No. 3 Columbia and No. 6 Embry-Riddle.

“I think the transition, in general, from Kirsta to me has been very easy,” Volkmer said.

“Me and Kirsta have a lot in common. We look for the same qualities, and we were on the same page.”

Tech golfers win

The Indiana Tech women’s golf team won the WHAC Jamboree with a team score of 329 at Caledonia, Mich. Megan Garrison shot an 80 to finish tied for second overall. Lizzie Campbell had an 81 to finish fourth, and Haley Larson was fifth with an 82.

Athletes of note

Saint Francis quarterback David Yoder was named the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League Offensive Player of the Week. Yoder completed 14 of 18 passes for 126 yards and scored a touchdown in the second half to lead the Cougars to a 39-31 victory over Wisconsin-Stevens Point. … Indiana Tech freshman Will Johnson (Bishop Luers) was named WHAC men’s soccer Offensive Player of the Week for scoring two goals in three games. … Indiana Tech’s Garrison was named WHAC women’s Golfer of the Week. She won the Illinois College Fall Invitational after shooting back-to-back rounds of 79. … Saint Francis midfielder Jason Walcutt (Carroll) was named Crossroads League Player of the Week. He scored three goals against Brescia. … Middle Tennessee State’s Paige Goeglein (Concordia) was named Sun Belt Conference Soccer Offensive Player of the Week. She leads the conference in goals and total points.

Steve Warden covers area colleges for The Journal Gazette. He may be reached by email at, by phone at 461-8477, or by fax at 461-8648.