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Volleyball lands JUCO talent

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – After what she called a “rollercoaster recruiting ride,” Porterville College’s Pirate of the Year Stephanie Dounseroux found a new volleyball home at the University of Pikeville.

Dounseroux, a two-time All-Central Valley Conference setter, signed her scholarship paperwork after visiting UPIKE on a recruiting trip.

“I was able to see the campus for myself and meet with the staff and players,” Dounseroux said. “I really enjoyed my visit. Even though Pikeville is a long way from home, it’s a great opportunity for me to play at the next level and focus on my communication major.

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster recruiting ride. I definitely learned a lot about the process. It’s been full of highs and lows. I’m grateful that the Pikeville coaches are giving me a chance to fulfill my dream.”

Dounseroux hopes that her California community college playing experience – including a CVC runner-up campaign (12-2 CVC, 16-8 overall) and state playoff appearance – can help Coach Shannon Gassman turn the program around.

“Coach Gassman has a winning track record as a player and coach,” Dounseroux said. “I’m looking forward to helping the team any way I can.”

Gassman, a former Division-I setter, said she watched Dounseroux on film and has been in regular contact since. “I was impressed by Stephanie’s presence on the floor, the way she ran the team and the way she ran the offense, which is essential for the position,” Gassman said.

“After speaking with her coach (Henderson) and talking to her, I knew she was the type of athlete we wanted in our program. Stephanie has an upbeat personality, very positive. She’s a good fit for our program, school and team.”

Dounseroux was named 2010-11 Rookie of the Year for volleyball and all PC athletics. In 2011-12, she was runner-up for CVC Most Valuable Player, First Team All-CVC, and earned PC Pirate of the Year. The team MVP and captain led the CVC in assists (705 total, 8.43 per game) – ranking among the state leaders, while finishing with 229 digs, 79 kills, 18 aces, and 17 blocks.

Dounseroux played every point – never left a game or match – for two seasons. She also played basketball as a sophomore, and served as PC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council President.

“Stephanie was the heart and soul of our program these past two seasons,” Henderson said. “She was my coach on the floor. Stephanie is as tough a competitor as you will ever see. She matured at PC as a leader and I’m positive she will succeed at Pikeville. Her new school is getting a skilled, polished, and experienced player.”

Dounseroux, who finished her career with 1,152 assists in 153 games (7.53 per game), said Henderson delivered on his promise to find her a four-year university.

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