National champs in the (Finnegan Field)house
STEUBENVILLE – Former members of the Penn State Univesity volleyball program – Kaleena Davidson and Kristin Carpenter, both of whom own national championships – will be at the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s volleyball camp Tuesday through Thursday.
Davidson, from Wintersville, moved to Pittsburgh in high school. Her mother, Kendra Walters, teaches at Indian Creek Junior High School.
“I first met Kaleena when I was coaching with her mom at Buchanan Junior High in 1992,” said Lady Barons veteran volleyball coach Kelly Herrmann. “Kaleena was in the fourth grade at the time and spent a lot of time in the gym with us. I have followed her career closely.
“It is wonderful to see someone from the valley accomplish so much as a player, coach, and clinician. We are thrilled to have her teaching at our high school camp next week.”
Davidson was the associate head coach of the Nittany Lions for the past five years, where she was a part of three national championships. She recently stepped down to pursue other interests outside of the coaching world.
“I’m excited that she is staying in State College with her husband, Cam, and not only is the door always open, but I hope she comes by all the time because I thought she was an incredibly valuable person to have around,” said Penn State volleyball head coach Russ Rose.
“I’ve known Kaleena for half of her life, so I look at her in three different phases. I knew her as a high school player, I coached her as a college player, I monitored and mentored her in her coaching career, and I was fortunate to have had the last five years with her, working side by side.”
Davidson was the Nittany Lions’ recruiting coordinator and was involved in the training and development of the back row.
Along with helping the team to three NCAA national championships during her tenure, Davidson played a key role in signing the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class in 2014. She also served as a mentor to some of Penn State’s top talent, including four-year AVCA All-American Deja McClendon, as well as Alyssa D’Errico and Dominique Gonzalez, who were both liberos on PSU national championship teams.
Davidson, a former Penn State All-American and Big Ten defensive player of the year, was the starting libero for the Nittany Lions from 2002-05. She presently holds the top three single-season dig marks, including the all-time career digs record (1,957).
Carpenter played for Penn State from 2009-12. She was recruited as a defensive specialist, but led the Nittany Lions to their fourth consecutive national championship directing the offense as a setter her sophomore year.
“Kristin is the consummate team player,” said Herrmann. “Her career was characterized by a tremendous work ethic and the ability to inspire her team from any position and in any role. She is currently working camps and clinics and will be returning to Europe to play professionally for Greece in the fall.
“I have gotten to know Kristin working camps with her for the last four years. She is my all time-favorite volleyball player. Being a huge Penn State volleyball fan, I followed her career very closely and have always been amazed at her ability to inspire and lift up her teammates, helping them to preform at their best.
“Her huge smile and positive attitude are contagious. I am thrilled that she is able to be a part of our camp this year.”
The camp is for girls entering high school. It is $90 per person and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Participants are able to either bring a sack lunch or purchase lunch from Sedexo Campus Dining Services. All participants will receive a FUS camp T-shirt as well as camp certificates and camp awards and prizes for various activities.
“Our camp will focus on volleyball fundamentals, teamwork, and competitive training to help individuals excel and accomplish their goals in the upcoming season,” said Herrmann. “Most importantly, each participant will be learning in a positive atmosphere where they will be taught and encouraged in a manner that builds their confidence and inspires them to improve their skills.”
For information or to register, visit www.franciscansportscamps.com or visit franciscan.edu and click on athletics.
Deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Monday.