CLEMSON, S.C. – With two liberos graduating from last season’s roster, Emily Curtis has a chance to make a name for herself from the get-go as part of the the incoming freshman class in 2016. Curtis plans to attend Clemson University as an Elementary Education major.
“I am so excited to attend Clemson University!” Curtis said. “I have been on a lot of college campuses but none have felt like Clemson. It just feels like home and I know it’s a perfect fit for me!”
After a five-year collegiate career dominating the back row, Keelie Arneson graduates leaving the starting libero position open for the taking. Head coach Hugh Hernesman is excited to add Curtis into the mix along with fellow incoming freshman Maddie Watts and rising sophomore Kennedy Wilson-Talmadge.
“We’re very excited to finally be able to introduce Emily to our fanbase,” said Hernesman. “Emily has all of the physical tools to be a great contributor in our program, but speed and strength are the ones that stood out to us initially. I also think that Emily’s natural talents will blend well with our style of training.”
“Emily is also very aware of what a great opportunity she has in front of her and what a special place Clemson is,” Hernesman added. “She values the opportunity to get an excellent education while playing in one of the best volleyball conferences in the country. You always want players in your program that truly recognize what a great opportunity it is to put on the Clemson uniform. Emily is definitely one of those.”
Curtis is a product of Denton High School where she was coached by Danielle Kading. There she led her team to the Regional Semifinals which is the deepest Denton has made it in the playoffs since 1999.
“Emily Curtis is the hardest working individual I’ve met,” said Kading. “When she sets her mind to something there is no stopping her. She is a positive role model for young girls reaching for their dreams because she reached hers. Through hard work, dedication, and great leadership skills, she is able to play volleyball at the next level.”
Her club coach, Cilene Drewnick of Instinct Volleyball Club, echoed similar praises.
“Emily was always a very determined girl,” Drewnick said. “Her passion for the game is one of a kind. If she could sleep with a ball, she would. I had the chance to coach her when she was 12 and now again at 18, and her drive to be the best she can be is still amazing to see! Emily is a team player, leader, happy, kind, and respectful to everyone around her. I just say I am lucky to be her coach!”
Curtis wraps up her high school career as a First Team All-District honoree the last three years and was named the district’s libero of the year each of the last three years as well. She was also named to the Academic All-District team in 2013 and 2015.
“She tends to be very midline in how she plays the ball and we think that will help her as the competitive level increases, but will also help to expand her range,” Hernesman said. “There’s no question on Emily’s effort, desire and fearlessness as a defender. I’ve personally seen her plow through rows of chairs and people to get to a ball. That level of effort and desire is what fuels athletes to compete and train at a different level, so we’re looking forward to getting her in the gym and watching her get after it.”
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