Spring Hill College Volleyball Head Coach Peggy Martin today announced the transfer of Yiting Cao ("Yee-ting Dow") from Shanghai, China, to the Badgers from Illinois Central College in East Peoria, Ill. Cao is a 2009 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) 1st team All American.
Cao, a 6'0" right side hitter, comes to SHC after winning the 2009 NJCAA Division II Volleyball National Championship at ICC where she was also named the National Tournament MVP.
"We are very blessed to have Yiting join our program," said Martin. "She will add much needed experience to a very young team."
As a freshman, Cao was a 1st team NJCAA All American in 2008 and she was chosen to the NJCAA National All Tournament team after ICC finished as the season as the National Runner-Up. Cao was also named a 2nd team member of the 2008 AVCA All American squad.
In international play, Cao was a member of China's Junior National Team that won the 2007 World Junior Championship and 3rd place at the 2007 Asia Junior Championships.
Cao's arrival at SHC was a twist of fate that Martin was happy to unearth. "I would love to claim that I am a recruiting genius but honestly it was all about being in the right place at the right time," Martin said. "Many years ago, we actually tried to recruit her coach at ICC (Sue Sinclair) to play for us at the University of Central Missouri and since then we have had a past player of hers compete at UCM. Sue and I have been friends ever since so when Yiting needed an NAIA program, the match was made. Once Yiting visited the campus this summer, Spring Hill sold itself."
Martin sees 2009 as a year of "New Beginnings" for Badger Volleyball as the team will feature nine incoming players and only four returning veterans. "There is a lot of excitement surrounding the team right now," she said. Adding to the anticipation, the Badgers will move into the newly expanded Southern States Athletic Conference's (SSAC) Western Division this year.
Local volleyball fans will recognize several of the new Badgers this year as twin sisters Jamie and Jessica Hall of Faith Academy, Savannah Simmons of Bayside Academy and Susan Gilliland from Baker High will join Meredith Donald and Sha Sha Buchanan of McGill-Toolen Catholic as part of an unusually large freshman class. Emily Williams of Murphy High will be the sole Badger senior in 2010 and Alma Bryant's Cassandra Marchand returns for her junior year following an All Conference performance as a sophomore.