With a height of 6'1" and a two-year stint with the Maryland Terrapins, Ball State junior transfer Kara Bates brings additional length to the outside hitter position and experience.
Ball State Coach Steve Shondell said in addition to her experience, Bates brings many skills to the team.
"She can do it all," Shondell said. "She doesn't have any idea how good she is. At Maryland, she just played front row and she's getting more tough now in the back row. She's got incredible talent, and we just need to bring that talent out of her. She can be a complete player and play six rotations because she's capable of it."
In her collegiate debut, Bates showed what she's capable of bringing to Ball State. She blasted a career-high 20 kills, while also adding 10 digs and a .385 hitting mark against Stony Brook.
During her time with the Terrapins, Bates recorded double-digit kills in 20 of 54 matches. In addition, she played in 195 sets and averaged 2.48 kills per set.
Bates said she is thrilled to be at Ball State and be closer to home.
"I'm glad the first game jitters are out of the way, especially for me," she said. "The girls are super fun. I think we're going to be really good this year. We're a fun group of girls to watch. The coaching staff is phenomenal. I'm just really happy to be here."
Bates also expects big things for herself and the team this season.
"Throughout the rest of the year, we definitely have been talking about being a Top 25 team," she said. "We want to make it to the NCAA, and I think this is a team that can definitely do it. We want to repeat as Mid-American Conference champions, and I would like to be involved in that, also, this year."
"For myself, I just want to bring a lot of intensity and energy to the team," Bates said. "I also want to do well and help my teammates do well."
Shondell said he plans on using sophomore Whitney Heeres and Bates throughout the season at outside hitter.
"They're both a value to our team," Shondell said. "They're both great players, and it's important to use both of them. I think they're probably going to fluctuate a lot, and either one of them could play some for Kylee Baker so we don't wear her out."