Former Teutopolis volleyball player Grimes to return to the court at Florida Tech | Local Sports | florida institute of technology

VINCENNES, Ind. — Former Vincennes University volleyball setter Savannah Grimes (Dieterich, Ill.) announced that she would be returning to the volleyball court after taking a year off to focus on her academics by signing with Florida Tech in Melbourne, Fla.

Grimes was the textbook definition of a student-athlete at Vincennes University, double-majoring in Engineering and Marine Biology and being a two-time NJCAA Academic All-American recipient, including receiving First-Team Academic All-American honors for the 2019-2020 school year.

“I chose Florida Tech initially for their great Chemical Engineering department and the amazing location,” Grimes said. “They offer a fast-track program that counts certain classes as undergraduate and graduate credits, so students can finish their master’s program in a year or less. The school is a few miles from the beach and it is still crazy to me that I can go there at almost any time.”

“I am thrilled that Savannah has decided to continue to play,” VUVB Head Coach Gary Sien said. “I knew she would do this, so it comes as no surprise to me at all.”

“What I miss most about Vincennes University is the amazing staff there,” Grimes added. “It was obvious the professors really care about their students and want to make sure they are successful. Also, the facilities at Vincennes University are incredible.”

“Aside from volleyball, Savannah was a model student,” Sien said. “She not only excelled in her studies, but she also tutored. When did she sleep or eat? Savannah is someone the Athletic Department should be very proud to say is one of our very own.”

Grimes helped tutor her fellow students in math, biology, and chemistry at Vincennes University. She also worked closely with VU Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics Curt Coffman.

“Savannah was an exceptional student during her time at VU,” Coffman said. “She not only completed two degrees, Zoology & Marine Biology and Chemical Engineering but graduated Magna Cum Laude at the top of her class. She also tutored math, biology, and chemistry in-between classes, practices, and matches.”

“These are all impressive, but what matters most is that Savannah is an incredible person,” Coffman added. “She is friendly, genuine, kind, and holds herself to a high level of integrity. That’s a rare combination, and we were fortunate to have her here at VU.”

Florida Tech University is an NCAA Division II program that plays in a very strong Sunshine Conference along with schools like Tampa University — which won the NCAA D-II National Championship in 2021.

Nova Southeastern, Embry-Riddle, Lynn, and Palm Beach Atlantic also represented the Sunshine Conference in the NCAA Tournament. All earned a ranking this past season, too.

In her two seasons with the Trailblazers, Grimes came away with 1,474 set assists, 707 digs, and 60 service aces in just 239 sets.

Grimes was a First-Team All-Region 24 selection after the Spring 2021 season, in which she finished with 753 set assists, 271 digs, and 39 blocks.

Grimes finished several matches with over 20 set assists and three times recorded over 40, including a career-high 47 set assists on Sophomore Recognition Day.

“I hope to leave behind my enthusiasm for volleyball to the next group of VUVB players,” Grimes said. “Sometimes, when you’re practicing every day, you don’t realize how much you love volleyball. When I started at Florida Tech, I was playing intramurals, grass, and beach volleyball and realized very quickly how much I wanted to be back on the court. I hope the girls realize their great opportunity to play college volleyball instead of thinking of it as a burden.”

“Savannah had to take on a very difficult role her last season here,” Sien added. “she was the only setter we had and one of only two sophomores who saw significant playing time. Savannah had never set in a one-setter system before, so that took some getting used to with all the nuances it entails.”

“She took a very young team to the Region Championship match,” Sien said. “For her to dish out over 1400 career set assists is exceptional since she was in a 6-2 or two-setter system for her Freshman year, meaning she only set part of the time.”

“Savannah is the most accommodating setter I have ever had,” Sien added. “She would constantly ask her hitters where they would like to be set, quicker, further, tighter or not as tight, etc. A great swing and a kill are dependent on how well the ball is placed; you can’t just throw the ball up and expect a kill and a point.”

“My biggest takeaway from my time at VU is to enjoy time with your friends and the little things that make you happy, instead of stressing about things that you cannot control,” Grimes added. “I met some of my closest friends at VU, and being in Florida, I wish I would have spent more time with them before I left.”

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