JACKSON, Tenn. - 10/22/2008 - CJ Neathamer, a senior volleyball player for the Union University Lady Bulldogs, is posting league leading numbers in a new position with Union in 2008. The team's libero stepped in the spot after playing her junior year at Union as a hitter.
Last season, Neathamer's first year at Union, she recorded a team-high 419 kills. However, this season, she moved to the back row as the libero and has been a key part to Union's 18-5 overall record and current second place standing in the TranSouth Conference. The team recently posted a season-high 10-match winning streak before it was snapped in the team's last match.
The libero position for Neathamer, a native of Anderson, Calif., is not strange to her as she was recruited by several colleges to play that position. Union's head coach, Steven Gream, says, "When she came to Union last season, we had a great libero in place, so she stepped as one of our best hitters. However, this season we needed a libero and she had the desire and experience to play that role".
So far this season, through 212 games, Neathamer has recorded 548 digs and 65 service aces. Currently, she ranks No. 1 in the TranSouth in aces (65), aces per game (0.8), digs (548), and digs per game (6.8). She is also among the leaders in the NAIA in digs per game (No. 3) and aces per game (No. 4).
"CJ has done a great job and has put up good numbers", says Gream. "She is leading in the two categories (serving and defense) that are important at the libero position."
Over her two seasons at Union, Neathamer has recorded 430 kills, 108 aces, and 1,224 digs, proving her vast abilities in volleyball. She transferred to Union as a junior from Shasta Community College.
Coach Gream calls her a coach on the floor. "She leads the offense with her ability to pass with high efficiency and also with her knowledge of the game. She is what every coach wants in a libero".
Union has seven regular season matches remaining before entering post season play. Neathamer will continue to be a factor in how far this Lady Bulldog team advances in the tournaments.
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