Cassie Lynn Sowers has entered her senior season playing volleyball for Eastern Michigan University and has claimed her role as a defensive specialist.
Sowers is returning from a strong 2010 season in which the Eagles were 24-11, 10-6 in the Mid-American Conference. She had 248 digs last season, a personal best in collegiate play.
Sowers, who is a 5-foot-10 business management major, said playing back row and digging balls is what she does.
The Eagles are going to need her digs and her experience in becoming a contender in this year’s MAC tournament. Sowers has improved every year she has played under coach Kim Berrington, who has entered her 16th season.
Sophomore middle blocker Carolyn Steger said, “She’s one of those players who if someone messes up you can turn to her and she’ll make the next play.”
Sowers has been a stable, hard-working player throughout the three seasons the Eagles have had her.
She played in all 35 matches in 2010, totaling 128 sets and 22 service aces. She recorded a career-high 20 digs against Western Michigan her junior season and had nine matches with at least 10 digs.
“She’s a really hard worker,” Steger said. “She works well in pressure situations, too.”
Steger said one of Sowers’ best qualities off the court that translates on to the court is her loyalty.
“My favorite thing about this team is our team chemistry,” Sowers said. “We all get along very well, and we’re all really good friends. That’s a great thing.”
Sowers has been playing volleyball since she was in the fourth grade.
She used to play on a local club team not too far from where she lived. She said when she was little she played more basketball but saw volleyball as a more enjoyable game.
In high school, Sowers was played at Westfall High School in Williamsport, Ohio.
She was a four-year varsity letter winner, selected Scioto Valley Conference Player of the Year three times, named All-Ohio First Team her junior and senior seasons, named All-Ohio second team her sophomore year and was a two-time scholar athlete award member.
She also held seven Westfall High School records, including 39 kills in one match, 555 kills in a season, 35 digs in a match, 346 digs in a season and 10 aces in a match. On top of that, she was senior class president.
According to Steger, a hidden talent of Sowers’ is Mario Kart.
“She can beat anyone in Mario Kart,” Steger said.
EMU wasn’t the only school Sowers considered attending.
“OU (Ohio University) was a school that I considered because it was close to home and a lot of my friends went there,” she said. “I went on a visit, but I decided to come here.”
Sowers said she came to Eastern Michigan because she really liked the campus.
“It’s small and most of all I liked all the girls here,” she said.
“When I came on my official visit I got along with all of my teammates very well so that was one of the deciding factors.”
Her favorite thing about volleyball is being around her teammates and playing defense.
One way Sowers helps in building team chemistry and bonding within her volleyball team is by cooking, sometimes for her team.
“I love to cook,” Sowers said, “My favorite thing to cook is turkey-burger tacos with rice.”
The Eagles have started 8-1 and look to build off of that success coming into the MAC season.
Sowers has played in at least 30 games each of the last three seasons and has averaged more than 200 digs the past two seasons.
Sowers is one of three seniors on the roster this year. The others are Ashley Mason and Haley Stein.
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