ALBION — Chloe Behm will add to the local flavor of a re-emerging volleyball program at nearby Trine University as the Central Noble senior announced her commitment to the NCAA Division III school in Angola on Friday afternoon.
The Thunder made a 10-win improvement from 2016 by going 13-13 last fall. They tied for fourth place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and beat NCAA Division III perennial power Hope for the first time in 29 tries as a member of the MIAA and for the first time since 1985, according to program archives found at trinethunder.com. They did that largely with younger players and a lot of Trine’s contributors are from northeast Indiana.
Freshman Emma Gaff from Hamilton led the Thunder in both kills and points per set and was second on the team in both digs and aces. Freshman Lindsey DeCamp from New Haven led the team in both digs and aces and tied for the team lead in sets played. Freshman Sarah Toles, an East Noble graduate, led Trine in total blocks. Angola’s Molly Smith and Hamilton’s Emma Lucas also contributed a lot.
Behm is looking forward to adding to that. She picked Trine over a few other schools and will study business administration in Angola.
“I’m excited to start a new chapter there,” Behm said. “It’s a really good environment and the team was friendly and accepting.”
Behm also wants to be able to give back to the volleyball club that has done so much for her development over the past couple of years, Team Pineapple. The club is run by 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Lloy Ball and its new home base, the Ball Sports Academy, will soon be up and running.
Cougar volleyball coach Laura Scott helped make that connection for Behm with Team Pineapple. Scott said Behm maximized that opportunity.
“That’s 100 percent on her,” Scott said. “Chloe spent a lot of time at it. She was also doing additional work. She’s constantly striving to get better and that’s a testament to her.
“Chloe is very positive and that makes coaching her very easy.”
Behm was in the top 10 in the Northeast Corner Conference in both kills and hitting percentage this past fall. She had 292 kills, a .242 hitting percentage and 53 blocks. She made the KPC Media Group All-Area team and was picked as an All-NECC honorable mention.
Behm said she will still be a middle hitter in college and will look to keep growing with her quickness and explosiveness at the net.
“I definitely need to get faster and get stronger,” Behm said. “I’ll give it my all and hopefully change the team for the better.”