#OhioVB transfers Shelby Walker and Aubree Hord add depth to the already talented Bobcats in effort to put them over the edge.
After winning the Mid-American Championship last season, Ohio failed to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
It was a disappointing finish for the Bobcats, who were looking to make some noise and advance in the tournament. With almost every key player returning from the previous year’s roster, Ohio was still able to add depth to an already veteran-laden team with the transfers of junior middle blocker Shelby Walker and redshirt sophomore defensive specialist Aubree Hord.
Walker comes from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida where she led her team to back-to-back Suncoast Conference titles. During her sophomore season, she was ninth in the nation with 1.35 blocks per set while also recording 2.43 kills per set for the Hawks.
She showed an early dedication to Ohio when she committed between the time former coach Ryan Theis departed and when coach Deane Webb was hired.
“If there’s any way that someone could truly commit to the school and not the coach she did that,” Webb said. “She committed literally in between when Ryan resigned and when I accepted the job. She’s going to be a phenomenal player, it’s just a matter of time before she gets used to everything we’re doing.”
Walker has seen action in every game along the front line this season. She is second on the team in blocks with 18 to go along with 28 kills. She had her best match of the year in the home opener against Texas A&M, when she tallied 10 kills — five of which came in the opening set.
“I came here for the school, volleyball is just a bonus,” Walker said. “I know it was a risk to come here without a coach, but I’m a student before an athlete. I fell in love with the school first and then volleyball just worked with it.”
The Bobcats also added depth along the back line with Hord, a DePaul transfer. She joins a solid group of defensive specialists alongside junior libero Meredith Ashy and sophomore defensive specialist Brooke Coleman. Hord is NCAA-experienced after playing high level of competition in the Big East.
Hord also offers Webb some versatility as she is also able to play the setter position if he feels junior Abby Gilleland needs time off.
Her action to this point was against Arizona State while the team was in Hawaii. She recorded two assists and scored a service ace.
“I want to bring a constant energy to the team and bring some versatility,” Hord said. “I can pretty much play wherever coach wants me to play.”
With the depth Walker and Hord add, the Bobcats will look to push themselves to the next level — that being advancement in postseason play.
They do not have the pressure of being stars, which allows them to do their jobs while also pushing those ahead of them to be better players.