November 10, 2003
Albany--There is nothing a hitter in volleyball loves more than a good kill.. but often overlooked on the volleyball court is the player who sends the ball into the air for that hitter to spike. The position is called setter and for the Albany State volleyball team, a good setter had been hard to find.
Outside hitter Janel Herring said, "Because in the past we made people... we made setters from people who normally didn't play that position." But two years ago at a junior college in Kansas, a setter by the name of Erica Nepote wanted to get out of the midwest.
An e-mail to her junior college coach from Albany State volleyball coach Robert Skinner eventually led Nepote to Albany State. Erica Nepote said, "It was the only school down here that I liked and so I came down here and I really enjoy it and I am glad I came."
And so were her Albany State teammates who immediately made Erica their team captain last year. From signaling the plan of attack to picking up balls during pre-game warmups, Erica Napote does it all for the Lady Rams. She literally touches the ball on every point and when it comes time to win that point she knows how to set up her teammates up for the kill.
"She is the first setter that we have had in a long time that can actually put the ball high enough for us to hit," Herring said. "We get more credit for the kills but she is the one who makes it happen," Middle hitter Eshovo Amune said.
"It is easier on me when you have hitters like that that you can set the ball to. As long as they get the kill, then my stats go up along with theirs and we get the win.," Nepote added.
Erica would love nothing more than for the Lady Rams to win a third straight SIAC title. Because that would send Albany State back to the NCAA division two regionals, which will be played somewhere near her Chanute Kansas home.
Erica said, "Right now it is going to be played either at Pittsburg State which is Kansas or in Missouri which is close back home. So, I really want to go up there and put on a show for everybody."
And if the Lady Rams make it to the NCAA tournament, Erica is hoping her family will get to Albany State win their first ever match in the Division Two regionals.