Former Shelby County standouts Rachel Noffsinger of Anna and Ellie Cain, who is from Covington but played at Lehman, will continue as teammates when they play volleyball at the University of Tennessee-Martin in Martin, Tenn., next season.
Tennessee Martin is a Division I NCAA program.
The two played last season for Columbus State under coach Jaclynn Yocum, who is now the head coach at Tennessee Martin.
Noffsinger, a six-foot sophomore-to-be, was named first-team, All-Ohio Community College Athletic Conference and also was first team Region XII after helping Columbus State to a Region E district championship and the program’s first-ever national Final Four appearance.
Noffsinger compiled 261 kills (2.33 per set) and a .334 attack percentage in 2014, committing only 59 errors in 604 attempts. She also added team highs of 48 service aces and 123 blocks (1.10 per set) for the Lady Cougars.
She cracked double-digits in the kill column on six different occasions, slamming down a career-best 14 kills in only three sets on Oct. 22 at Cincinnati State. She nearly amassed a double-double with a nine-kill, 10-block (five solo) performance at Ancilla College on Sept. 19.
At Anna, she was first-team All-County, and also a first-team Division-9 and third-team All-Ohio honoree for the Lady Rockets under head coach Kelli Barhorst.
“I am excited to work with Rachel again at a higher level,” coach Yocum said. “She is a great athlete and a great competitor. I believe she has the ability to be one of the strongest blockers in the conference.”
Cain, meanwhile, also garnered first team All-OCCAC honors as well as first team All-Region 12 and All-National Tournament honors in the national junior college tournament last season at Columbus State. A 5-9 sophomore-to-be, she helped guide the Lady Cougars to a 34-4 overall record and a 14-0 mark in league play.
Cain handed out 1,579 assists last season, and her 12.53 assists per set led the nation. She also added 93 kills on a .252 attack percentage, had 47 service aces, 243 digs (1.93 per set) and 53 blocks in 2014.
She finished with at least 40 assists on 25 different occasions, including a career-best 70 assists in a five-set win over Kirkwood Community College on Oct. 17. She also notched eight double-doubles, scooping up a career-high 17 digs at Lorain Community College on Oct. 3.
At Lehman, she was named first team All-Ohio while earning District 9 first team and Northwest Central Conference Most Valuable Player honors under head coach Greg Snipes. She helped the Lady Cavaliers to over 80 victories and a state championship during her prep career.
“Ellie simply knows how to win – she’s done it her entire volleyball career,” coach Yocum said. “She has a strong understanding of her role as a setter and embraces having the command on the court.”