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Bearcat of the week: Marisa O’Dell

Marisa O’Dell, junior music performance major and starting setter for the women’s volleyball team, has tallied 736 assists on the season so far, as well as 115 kills and 42 service aces.

O’Dell said that being a setter, she naturally leads on the court.

“The setter is supposed to touch the ball in every play, and should always be the second contact,” O’Dell said. “You really have to understand rotations and see the game and the court as a whole, and help your teammates envision it too. I’ve always enjoyed that role.”

She first started playing volleyball when she was in the fourth grade. She picked it up so she could try and compete with her older sister, who at the time, played volleyball in high school.

O’Dell fell in love with the game because of its competitive nature as well as “the way the game flows and how scrappy you have to be to play,” she said.

O’Dell is originally from Vienna, Ohio and is a graduate of Mathews High School where she played varsity volleyball for four years. She was named first team all-conference her sophomore, junior and senior year. Her senior year, O’Dell also won first player all division and was a contender for division four player of the year for her school’s region.

O’Dell decided to come to Saint Vincent because she really liked the close-knit community. She graduated from high school in a class of about 60 students, so she wasn’t interested in attending a big college.

Her favorite memory of being on the SVC team so far was the last game of the 2016 season, when the Bearcats played against Washington and Jefferson College.

“We beat them in three sets and it was the best volleyball I’ve ever seen. We really played as a team and I really push to have that kind of a game again,” O’Dell said.

She mentioned that she would like her team to finish out the season similarly.

“I want us all to have a well rounded game. Have even stats across the board. We don’t want to have a good passing game but have our hitting be off. I want us to play as a team, win or lose,” O’Dell said.

In the off-season, O’Dell says the team will work extremely hard to prepare for next season. They get in the gym when they can, lift weights three times a week and condition on the other days. The team also has study hall to make sure everyone has the grades they need to be eligible for the season.

After graduation, O’Dell wants to become a choir or vocal director in a church, and maybe one day return to school to acquire a teaching degree so she can teach choir and music theory in schools. She also plans to continue with volleyball by becoming a coach.

O’Dell and her teammates return to action for their last regular season home game and senior night on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.

Photo: SVC Athletics

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