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Shelton Takes Over BC Volleyball

BLUEFIELD, Va. — The volleyball program at Bluefield College is officially under new direction, but the woman in charge is no stranger at the Dome Gymnasium.

February 3, 2010

By TOM BONE

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Charolette Shelton Head Softball and Volleyball Coach for BC Lady Rams.

 

BLUEFIELD, Va. — The volleyball program at Bluefield College is officially under new direction, but the woman in charge is no stranger at the Dome Gymnasium.

 

Charolette Shelton, who has been the college’s softball coach for a year now, will coach the Lady Rams in volleyball as well.

 

The former BC volleyball coach, Jaime Bowman, has resigned after three years, reportedly to take a job at the Wade Center in Bluefield.

 

Monday was Shelton’s first official day in the volleyball coaching job, and she did not waste any time. The Lady Rams went through two practices. On Tuesday Shelton seemed pleased with the workouts.

 

“They practiced hard, with a lot of heart and showed me that they can give me what it takes to be successful,” she said. “If we build on that, the program can only continue to grow and to succeed.”

 

She said she first met with the team on Jan. 13 to begin the transition.

 

“It went well,” Shelton said. “Of course, the girls had questions, but it went well.” She said the team is “very excited.”

 

For the time being, plans call for volleyball practices three days a week.

 

“Until basketball season is over, we’re filling in whenever time is allotted in the Dome,” she said. “Three days a week in the spring is a pretty good amount of time. And we’re doing individual work, whenever the Dome is available.”

 

“It’s a pretty good workout,” she said. “They’ve been real positive about it, and that’s great.”

 

The team was 8-26 last fall, including three postseason matches. Senior Felicia Marmo made first team all-conference in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.

 

Shelton, a graduate of Richlands High School, played and then coached volleyball and softball at Pikeville College in Kentucky. She was named to Pikeville’s Athlete Hall of Fame in 2006 in both softball and volleyball.

 

With her previous experience as a collegiate assistant coach at Pikeville, in addition to executing several other responsibilities at the school, she is taking the addition to her duties at Bluefield in stride.

 

“It’s not bad,” she said. “I’ve done it in the past. It’s just a matter of getting back into it, getting things in line.”

 

Juggling both sports can be done, she said. “I don’t foresee them presenting any major problems,” she said. “Whatever team’s in season, of course, that’s going to be the priority sport. ...”

 

At the same time, she knows about the workload. As to her new responsibilities, she said, “I do it all, from recruiting to team management and preparing for matches. I don’t have an assistant. ... It’s definitely a year-round thing.”

 

In recruiting, she said, “I like to start looking at girls in their sophomore year and junior year, following that through.”

 

She was pleased to see the recruiting work that Bowman had under way. “I’ll follow up with that and bring them in and let them play ... before making my decision.”

 

With the spring semester well underway, she is considering an “open recruiting day, where everyone can come in and play,” she said.

 

She is seeking to add “about five matches” to this fall’s schedule, with a goal of getting some more matches in the Dome “to try to keep the schedule balanced between home and away games.”

 

Her philosophy for her players boils down to “dedication and hard work,” she said. “That’s probably my two biggest things — and staying up with the academics. You’ve got to stay focused with that at the same time, and have a good balance (between study and athletics).”

 

Three volleyball players made the AAC All-Academic Team at the end of last season — defensive specialist Yeda Duarte, outside hitter and defender Ashley Strickland and outside hitter Alyssa Weddle, who is also an NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

 

The Lady Rams softball team is scheduled to start the season with a home game on March 1.

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