Carrie McClelland, a two-sport standout at Fredericktown High School, has signed a letter of intent to further her education and play volleyball at Mount Vernon Nazarene College.
McClelland, a 5-foot-10 middle hitter from Fredericktown, Ohio, was a four-year varsity letterwinner for the Freddies in volleyball as she helped the team to a pair of conference championships and one district title during her career. She was twice named to the All-Conference First Team and the All-District First Team.
After being selected to the All-Ohio Third Team as a junior in 1998, McClelland capped off her stellar career by being named to the All-Ohio First Team in 1999. As a senior, she smashed 182 kills and recorded 93 blocks. She also contributed 143 digs, 18 assists, and 28 aces.
"I have known Carrie for a number of years," said MVNC head coach Paul Swanson. "She has done some work with us in our camps in the summer. I have always been impressed with her potential as a volleyball player."
"Her athletic ability and competitiveness will help us at the all important middle hitter position," Swanson added. "She has a great competitive background playing at Fredericktown High School, which will help her here at MVNC. She is a wonderful person to add to an already wonderful team."
Besides excelling at volleyball, McClelland has also been a star on the basketball court for the Freddies. She recently scored her 1,000th career point and was an Honorable Mention All-Ohioan last season. She has been involved in Student Council at FHS, and has also been a Homecoming Court attendant.
"I chose to attend MVNC because it has a great volleyball program, and I feel that I could grow in many ways there," said McClelland of her college choice. "MVNC has a great atmosphere with tons of friendly people."
Over the past 16 years, Swanson has led the Mount Vernon Nazarene College women's volleyball team to a 539-195 overall record (.734 winning percentage).
In the decade of the 1990s, the Lady Cougars gained the reputation as one of the premier NAIA volleyball programs in the Midwest. MVNC posted a 396-107 (.787) during that span with four conference championships and four runner-up finishes. The Lady Cougars also compiled an incredible 122-9 home mark (.931) that included a 70-match home winning streak from 1991-1997.
The 1999 season was no exception to MVNC's winning tradition as the Lady Cougars closed out the decade with a 44-5 overall record for the best winning percentage in school history (.898). The team also won the American Mideast Conference title with a perfect 13-0 record. In postseason play, MVNC won the AMC Tournament, advanced to the semifinals of the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament, and advanced to the finals of the NAIA Region IX Tournament.
Swanson must replace four seniors (Rachel Widener, Becky Jefferys, Amber Rice, and Jessica Huffaker) who posted a 176-38 record during their careers in the blue and green uniforms of the Lady Cougars. However, MVNC will also return eight other players with plenty of experience including three starters. In addition to McClelland, Swanson has landed three stellar recruits, Jeni Vanderhoof, Jessica Harding, and Chelsea Knight, to help fill the empty roster spots.
With these four standout recruits joining the quality group of returning players, the future of the Lady Cougar volleyball program looks good as it heads into the new millennium.