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Barber, Howard Sign with Barton College

Having completed two seasons in the junior college ranks, PCC volleyball standouts Ginny Howard, left, and Catherine Barber announced this month that they will continue their playing careers at nearby Barton College, starting with the 2013 season.

WINTERVILLE—A pair of Pitt Community College volleyball players are trading in one Bulldogs uniform for another after signing with Barton College this month.

Having completed their junior college eligibility this fall, PCC sophomores Catherine Barber and Ginny Howard have announced that they are moving on to Wilson to play for the Barton Bulldogs in 2013.

Both Barber and Howard earned All-Region X Conference honors for their play in 2012. In two seasons at Pitt, the duo helped lead the Bulldogs to a 49-21 overall record and 26-8 mark in Region X Conference action.

Barber, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter from Apex, was also named all-conference in 2011, when the Bulldogs went 14-2 to win the Region X Conference regular-season title outright. She finished her PCC career with 590 kills and credits much of her success to Coach Tom Marsh, her teammates, and parents, Marc and Dawn.

“I’ve never had a coach that believed in me as much as Tom Marsh and a team that pushed me this hard and wanted to win as a group,” Barber said.

Marsh said Barber should be a nice addition to the Barton program. “She is very strong in serve/receive and is a smart attacker with excellent ball placement,” he said. “She is a solid all-around player who brings stability to the team.”

After sitting out most of her freshman year with an injury, Howard, the daughter of Greenville’s Don and Joann Howard, returned to the court this season to put away 252 kills with a .313 hitting percentage.

“After I came back from my injury, I knew I was going to have to work hard to get back to the same level of play I was at before I got hurt,” she said. “I worked out as much as I could during the spring and summer in order to be a better competitor during the 2012 season.”

Marsh, who coached the 5-10 Howard’s junior varsity team at J.H. Rose in 2008, says the former Rampant rebounded nicely from her injury-plagued freshman year.

“Ginny took out her frustration in the spring and summer getting ready for her sophomore year,” he said. “Her development exploded, as she became both more aggressive and smarter in her attacking ability. She is a high-energy player who brings enthusiasm to matches and, even more importantly, to practice.”

Both Barber and Howard say they are thrilled to be able to continue playing the sport they love so dearly and that they will be able to do so together while earning their college degrees.

“I’m really excited to start my next chapter at Barton College with my teammate Ginny Howard,” Barber said. “I have no idea what I want to do with my life, but that’s okay; I still get to play volleyball.”

Howard echoed those sentiments. “Having the opportunity to continue to play volleyball at Barton means a lot to me, and I’m excited that I get to do that with my current teammate, Catherine Barber,” she said.

“… Being able to do something that I love while continuing my education is awesome. It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain.”