Daniel Sipocz

The winds of change have swirled over the Ball State University women's volleyball team.

Over Winter Break, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Hugh Hernesman accepted the co-head coaching position with wife, Stephanie, at Northwestern State University.

"I wasn't surprised by Hugh moving on at all," coach Dave Boos said. "[Hugh] had previous head coaching experience and just wanted to make the transition to Division I volleyball here. It was never a matter of if, it was when for Hugh. He's ready for a new challenge"

As a result, Boos has a void in his coaching staff. This is the first time in his three-year reign as head women's volleyball coach at Ball State that an assistant has left the program.

"We want to fill the position as quickly as possible with the recruiting season beginning January 15," Boos said. "We'll be looking for the best candidate available and not specifically for anyone who is a recruiter or a specialty."

With Hernesman's departure taking place over the break, the team hasn't had the time to adjust to the news. Boos plans to hold a meeting Tuesday morning to start spring workouts and address the coaching staff opening.

"We've drawn a lot of interest already and the position opening hasn't even been posted yet. It will be posted later this week," Boos said. "Our focus will remain the same during the search because [assistant coach] Marci [Peniata] and I have been together for a few years and can fill gaps and take on responsibilities."

Early starter: The team meeting Tuesday morning will also help welcome early enrollee and outside hitter Whitney Heeres to the Ball State program officially. Heeres, a 6-foot-2 Flushing, Mich., native, spent part of Monday going through compliance paperwork and getting her equipment needs squared away.

Boos said an additional outside hitter walk-on will join the team for spring workouts as the Cardinals prepare for the spring slate.

Sizing up the schedule: Boos is also working on the 2010 schedule and feels that it has reached a tipping point.

"We're at a weird time where no one wants to commit to anything, but once the first team does, everyone starts to commit and fill out tournament and schedule spots," Boos said. "We had one team commit and I feel like we're on the verge a several others will. Whether or not that happens by the end of the week, we'll see."