INCOMING VOLLEYBALL FRESHMAN BOWLES NAMED AAU ALL-AMERICAN
July 19, 2012
MARTIN, Tenn. – In a volleyball tournament featuring more than 1,700 teams and several thousands of players, Chelsea Bowles stood out above the crowd. The incoming University of Tennessee at Martin libero/defensive specialist was named as one of 14 AAU All-Americans in the 18 Open age division.
Bowles was a member of the Asics KIVA 18 Red squad, a team formed out of Louisville, Ky. that turned some heads at the prestigious 39th AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships in Orlando, Fla. Bowles’ strong play helped her team finish in a tie for fifth out of 48 teams competing in her age division of the tournament, which was played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and Orange County Convention Center on June 23-26.
Coached by Christy Chapman-Uhrig, the Asics KIVA 18 Red team went 9-2 against top competition, reeling off eight straight victories to begin the tournament. Bowles’ squad established itself as one of the best teams in the field before falling to the eventual national champion, Shangdong out of China. Overall, Bowles’ outstanding effort helped the team win 18 of its 23 sets in the tournament.
The strong showing on the national stage follows a spectacular prep career for Bowles, who led Assumption High School to a 43-1 record and second straight Kentucky state championship last fall. She was targeted by ESPN’s Kirstin Olsen as one of the top-10 players in the prominent Asics Challenge in Chicago last summer and racked up multiple all-state accolades.
“For Chelsea to be honored as an All-American speaks volumes about her potential,” UT Martin head coach Darrin McClure said. “She plays at an extremely high level and is a real leader on and off the court. I have no doubt whatsoever that Chelsea will come in and do great things for our program.”
Along with Bowles, the Asics KIVA Red team also featured incoming UT Martin freshmen Lynsey Hazelwood and Dallas Zimmerman, meaning that three of the team’s 10 players will suit up for the Skyhawks this fall.
“We have high expectations for next season and a lot of that has to do with the talent level of our incoming freshmen,” McClure said.