Women's Volleyball |
Bearcat To Watch: Julie DuPont
Contact: Shawn Sell
When Julie DuPont steps on the volleyball court, her goal each and every time is actually a very simple one, to improve. She wants to improve not only her individual game, but that of the team around her.
“I want to get better each game, each match and each year that I play,” DuPont said.
In just over a year as a Bearcat, DuPont has done that very well, achieving success for both herself and her team. As a freshman, DuPont started every match at middle blocker, earning Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors, while helping the Bearcats to a C-USA Championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
“Last year was a learning experience,” DuPont said. “The coaches put me right in and I had to learn as I went. That has made this year so much easier.”
DuPont, a Muskego, Wis. native decided to make Cincinnati her college home, despite the distance from her hometown. She chose UC over Marquette and Northern Illinois because of the quality of the program Cincinnati was building.
“I wanted to stay close to home,” DuPont said. “Cincinnati wasn’t a terrible drive for my parents to see me play, but it was about as far as I could go. I thought UC was a better overall draw, with the team, the coaches and the facilities. I also like the Communications Disorders program.”
While it is clear that DuPont is happy to be in Cincinnati, it is also clear that she, along with her teammates, are hungry for more success after a disappointing ending to last season. The Bearcats, as the regular season champions earned the number one seed for the C-USA Tournament, but were upset by DePaul in the quarterfinals, handing them a fifth place finish. Later, UC fell to Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“Our goal this year is to win the C-USA regular season and tournament,” DuPont said. “We want to make the NCAA's again, but overall we just want to have a better showing than last year. Losing is NOT the way to go.”
Part of making that better showing a reality will be seeing how smooth of a transition DuPont can make from middle blocker, her natural position, to outside hitter. Cincinnati head coach Reed Sunahara for one feels she will have no trouble.
“Julie is a hard worker with a good attitude,” he said. “I think she is starting to come into her own and is doing a great job with the transition (to outside hitter). Things have really fallen into place with the transition.”
Throughout her UC career DuPont has steadily improved, ranking third on the team in kills last year and leading the squad early this year. That strong production and improvement has allowed her to stay away from one of her least favorite places, the bench.
“Any time not on the bench is time well spent,” she said.
Especially when that leaves plenty of time for improving, which is really the name of Julie DuPont’s game.