Volleyball adds two to 2011 class

The Oakland University women’s volleyball team has added two players to its roster.  Incoming freshmen, Taylor Humm and Lauren Mammina, are the new faces for the Golden Grizzlies for the 2011 season.

Humm, a 5-10 outside hitter from Crystal Lake, Ill.,  near Chicago, was a two-time all-state honorable mention at Prairie Ridge High School.

As a freshman, Humm recorded a team-high 12 kills for team black in the Black and Gold Scrimmage on Aug. 20 in her first real game experience, .

Humm said that she was impressed with the amount of dedication Oakland provides student athletes.

“Oakland takes the student athletes seriously,” Humm said, “I fell in love with it.”

She said she is also impressed with the community surrounding the campus, which helps provide a “unique experience.”

Humm is joining five other players from her home state who play for OU: sophomores Alissa Valentine and Audrey Wilson, along with juniors Alli Kirk, Meghan Bray and Amber Miehlke.

Humm believes that the Illinois connection she shares with the other five players will help her “break the ice” by being able to talk to them about things they can relate to pertaining to Illinois.

However, she is also looking forward to getting to know the other members of the team who can show her around the local area since she has little experience being in, Michigan.

Volleyball will not be the only sport Humm competes in at Oakland. She will also be on the track and field team in the shot put and discus throw events.

One of the reasons Humm chose Oakland is because she wanted to have the opportunity to play two sports at the Division I collegiate level.

Mammina, a 5-8 outside hitter from Grand Rapid, helped her team at Forest Hills Eastern High school to win back-to-back conference championships while being named to the all-conference team as a senior and competing in gymnastics.

Now as a Golden Grizzly, Mammina will be making the switch to defensive specialist.

This will require her to sacrifice contributing offensively on the front row to focus on her defensive skills in the back row.  However, she already began preparing for this transition as a high school senior with an increased focus to defense.

“Though I will miss hitting, I’m excited to play defensive specialist,” said Mammina, “I’m really looking forward to it.”

On her recruiting visit to Oakland, Mammina was impressed with the campus and was more comfortable with the smaller size of it compared to Michigan and Michigan State.

“The campus is beautiful,” Mammina said, “It’s the perfect size.”

Additionally, some of Mammina’s family members have attended Oakland and a friend of her mother lives close to the campus.

With the rest of the team comprising of mostly juniors and seniors, Humm and Mammina will benefit from the leadership they provide.

“They’ve been helping us with the cohesion of every individual and we’ve been able to understand their plays and how this team works,” said Humm.

Head coach Rob Beam sees a lot of potential in Humm and Mammina and said it will be fun coaching them in their college career.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to get to know them as we get to work together every day,” said Beam. “You start learning more and understand better how to motivate them, how to work with them and help them reach their potential.”

The Grizzlies will compete in the Golden Grizzlies Invitational at the O’Rena starting on Sept. 2.