David S. Driver
"Providing my byline by your deadline"
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November 04, 2010
By David Driver
For the Stafford County Sun
Used with permission
STAFFORD — There have been a lot of changes in the athletic program at North Carolina-Wilmington since Emily Mohrman, a graduate of Colonial Forge High School, enrolled in the school in the fall of 2008 to play volleyball.
Her team got a new coach after her freshman season, as Amy Bambenek left her role as an assistant at George Washington to become the new head coach for UNC-Wilmington to take over for Jennifer McCall, who was relieved of duties. And then Jimmy Bass was named the new athletic director at UNC-Wilmington in October following the resignation of Kelly Mehrtens, who had hired McCall.
Another change has been the progression of play for Stafford resident Mohrman, who was one of just two players for the Seahawks to play in the first 84 sets of this season. Mohrman played in the first 24 matches and was third on the team in kills with 141. She had just 58 kills in 2009 and 24 as a freshman in 2008.
“It is my first year as a starter,” said Mohrman, a middle hitter. “It is a lot more pressure. When you are on the sidelines you think when you go in you will make a difference. I like it. I am the oldest middle hitter right now since one of the girls is out with an injury.”
The Seahawks, a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, were 7-17 overall and 1-8 in league play as of Oct. 28. UNC-Wilmington was 13-18, 3-11 last year and 6-23 and 0-14 in the CAA in her freshman season.
“For the team, I think we were expected to do better than we are doing,” she said. “It is a learning year. We have six freshmen and a lot of the girls did not have a lot of playing time (in college) before this year.” The Seahawks host George Mason on Nov. 5. Mason beat UNC-W, 3-0, in Fairfax in October.
"This is really her first season that she has not had to deal with any major (injury) issues," Bambenek said. "Just in the two years I have worked with her she is finally starting to get the strength and firepower we need out of her. She is a diligent, hard worker. We really look to Emily to be that rock we can lean on in the middle. I consider us to be a young squad but she is one that has some experience."
Mohrman considered Northern Kentucky and Randolph-Macon in Ashland coming out of high school and also spoke to coaches at George Mason. But she decided on UNC-Wilmington, where she is majoring in psychology and recently added English as a minor.
“We are five miles from the beach. I love living here. It is 80 degrees out now,” she said one recent morning, when the temperature was in the 50s in Northern Virginia. She spends time in North Carolina in the summer taking part in volunteer team workouts.
Other Colonial Forge graduates playing college volleyball include sophomore middle blocker Bianca Richardson (American), junior outside hitter Victoria Lewis (Chowan) and sophomore setter Sarah Frohnapfel (Lafayette). Richardson is among the team leaders in kills for American, which was 9-0 in the Patriot League as of Oct. 28. Chowan, a Division II school in North Carolina, is among the top teams in the CIAA. Frohnapfel led her team with 398 assists in games through Oct. 28.