San Antonio – With a highly successful first season now behind her, St. Mary’s volleyball coach Jenny Warmack-Chipman can safely begin looking ahead to next year.
And if the Rattlers’ recent recruiting haul is any indication, that future looks quite bright.
Adding athleticism, depth and versatility to an already quality roster, outside hitter Kelsey Huber (San Antonio MacArthur High School), middle hitter Taylor Obermiller (San Antonio Stevens High School) and right-side hitter Melissa Heft (San Antonio Brandeis High School) all signed their national letters of intent to play volleyball for St. Mary’s, the program recently announced.
Huber, who stands at 5-foot-9, recorded 320 kills, 33 blocks, 35 aces and 339 digs as a senior at MacArthur this past season. She made first-team all-district and was an all-area pick. In the classroom, she made first-team all-academic and first-team academic all-state.
Huber also made the Northside and North East ISD all-tournament teams.
“We are very excited about Kelsey joining the team,” said Warmack-Chipman of the standout, who played her club volleyball at Alamo Volleyball Club. “She brings some much-needed depth to our outside hitting. Kelsey is a good leaper that can put some heat behind her attack.
“Not only is she a great hitter, but she’s also got the ball control to play all the way around. We expect her to make a major contribution right away.”
Obermiller, who is 6-foot, led Stevens High with 326 kills, 67 blocks and 73 aces, to go along with 73 aces last season. She was first-team all-district and had a handful of academic honors, including second-team academic all-district. She also was a member of the National Honor Society and the Student Council.
Additionally, Obermiller made a handful of all-tournament teams during her time at Stevens, including the Jaguar Classic in 2008 and ’10, the Alamo Heights Invitational (’09) and the Belton Invitational (’09).
“Taylor is a great pickup for us,” Warmack-Chipman said. “She’s a strong middle hitter and will challenge our two returning all-conference middles for a starting position. She’s also a versatile player that might find herself on the outside if needed.
“She’s got a great jump serve and has passing/digging experience. She’s one of those players that you want on the floor!”
Meanwhile, Heft, who also stands at 6-foot, recorded 268 kills and 33 blocks for Brandeis High last season. She will join former high school teammates Karlie Ortega and Melissa Dahle on the Rattlers’ roster next fall.
Heft, Obermiller’s club teammate with Texas Juniors Volleyball Club, was a first-team all-district and first-team all-academic honoree last season.
“We’re very excited about finding another lefty to play on the right side,” Warmack-Chipman said. “Not only is Melissa a great hitter, she’s athletic enough for us to run a variety of attacks, either behind or in front of the setter, and she’s a great blocker!
“She definitely has what it takes to compete for a starting position next year.”
The Rattlers enjoyed a rebirth of sorts in Warmack-Chipman’s first year with the team, advancing to the NCAA Division II South Central Region tournament on the heels of winning the Heartland Conference Tournament for the first time since 2000. It marked St. Mary’s first regional-tournament berth since 1998.
Winning nine of their final 14 matches, the Rattlers finished the season with a 15-18 record.