UU’s Balice adds two more to incoming class

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Urbana University Volleyball Coach Tim Balice announced Wednesday two additional signings to the incoming class of 2016. Emilee Skerbetz (Granville, Ohio) and Callahan Baxter (Thorntown, Ind.) will join Michigan native Alyssa Myers in suiting up for the Blue Knights in the fall.

Skerbetz, a 5-foot-11 middle blocker, played for Granville High School as well as Performance Prep Volleyball Club in Columbus. At Granville, she was a captain during her senior season and closed her career as the school’s record holder in four categories. Skerbetz had the most blocks in a season (97), most blocks in a match (12), highest hitting percentage in a match (.875), and most career blocks (211).

“We are excited to bring Emilee in because of the flexibility she has to play multiple front row positions,” Balice said. “Her arm speed and physicality will help improve our presence at the net as well as our offense.”

Baxter, a 5-foot-9 pin attacker, appeared on the Class of 2016 Junior Volleyball Association Watch List and brings championship experience to the UU program. A versatile, multi-sport athlete, she helped lead Western Boone High School to three league titles while playing club for The Academy Volleyball Club out of Indianapolis.

In addition, Baxter was a conference champion in two track and field events, including the long jump and 4×100 relay (holds conference record). She also claimed school records in lifting for the clean, back squat, and bench press, while becoming the first female athlete in the 500-pound club. In 2015, she garnered Western Boone’s 2015 Iron Star Challenge Award as the school’s top overall athlete.

“Callahan is still early in her volleyball training, but she makes up for it with her competitive nature as well as her ability to outwork her competition,” Balice said. “I foresee her hitting on either pin for us in the future as well as adding some physicality at the net. Not only that, she will definitely be stepping up the intensity in the weight room.”

Both Skerbetz and Baxter have decided to study exercise science at UU.

The Blue Knights will open the 2016 season on Friday, Sept. 2, when they take the court at Walsh University. The first home match is slated for the following Tuesday (Sept. 6) against local rival Cedarville.

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