September 6, 2010

Seabaugh to Join Volleyball Staff

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Some of the girls that Kate Seabaugh is coaching this year were almost her teammates. Now one of the new assistant coaches on this year’s volleyball teams, Seabaugh was originally recruited by Cornell when she was in high school. However, she took the full ride volleyball scholarship at UConn over the scholarship-free Ivy League. At UConn, Seabaugh played as an outside hitter and helped the Huskies advance to the Big East tournament in each of her three seasons, totaling 621 kills and 625 digs over the course of 90 matches. The newest member of the Red coaching staff graduated from UConn in 2009 and is now in her second year at Cornell in the Master of Engineering program with a concentration in Financial Engineering.Seabaugh says that her recent playing experience will be an important asset to the volleyball team. “The fact that I played so recently means that I can relate to the players very well,” she said. “I can help the outside hitters to become more offensive.”Junior Kelly Hansen played against Seabaugh in a tournament her freshman year, and says she watched video of her playing style with other members of the Cornell team, looking at her strengths and weaknesses. Hansen says that Seabaugh stood out amid their busy schedule, with dozens of games and hundreds of players. “She was competitive and her competitiveness stood out,” she said. “The older girls who played in that tournament recognized and remembered her, which doesn’t typically happen.”Hansen says that members of the team are excited to welcome Seabaugh to the team. “She brings a new perspective,” she said. Just being a recent college grad, she can relate to us.” Additionally, Hansen says that the fact that she is a graduate student herself and balances her coursework with a busy volleyball schedule will inspire the team. Head coach Sarah Bernson says that her playing experience at UConn will be a major asset to the team. “We have young hitters on the outside,” Burnson said. It will be nice to have someone who has an understanding of the position on the coaching staff.” However, Burnson says her recent playing experience will be an asset to all the players on the team, not just the outside hitters. She says that the team will be able to relate to her better as a recent player, and to inspire them with her energy and passion for the sport. “The best thing about Kate is that she is competitive and that she will push the girls to win,” Burnson said. Seabaugh, who spent the last year on campus without the coaching job, says she is ready for volleyball to assume a central place in her life again. She looks forward to structuring her schedule around volleyball and traveling with the team. “Last year was my first year not having a sport,” she said. “It was always a big part of my life.” Though it may not have been the central point of her life last year, Seabaugh still played volleyball. She played on the club volleyball team at Cornell, taking the team to fifth place at nationals.As the season kicks off, Seabaugh is still adjusting to her role on the team as a coach, and not as a player. “It’s definitely different being on the sidelines,” she said. “Sometimes I wish I could go out there and do what I am saying to do.” In the coming weeks, Seabaugh will help coach Cornell as they play against UConn. She will not only be coaching against her alma mater, but also against some of her former teammates. “I don’t know much about the team this year, so it will be good to see them first hand,” she said. Sebaugh says that though she loved her experience at UConn, she is excited about her position at Cornell. “When I was recruited, UConn was the place that I thought I could contribute the most. I’m at Cornell now, though, so I get the best of both worlds.”

Original Author: Juan Forrer