Head Volleyball Coach
Head Coach Leah Mercer '02 enters her fifth season at the helm of the USI volleyball program after leading the Screaming Eagles to their first GLVC Tournament Championship match since 2004 and their sixth in the last nine years.
Mercer, who currently ranks second all-time at USI with 69 career victories at the helm of the USI volleyball program, directed her squad to an 18-15 overall mark, 9-8 in the GLVC, and a third-place finish in the GLVC West Division.
In the last two years, Mercer's Eagles have been among the nation's best at the net. Her squad led the GLVC and was eighth in the nation with 2.43 blocks per set in 2008.
The Eagles' 454 block assists in 2008 eclipsed the program's all-time record, which was set the previous year when USI amassed 450 block assists.
In 2007, Mercer's squad finished 15-14 overall and was fourth in the GLVC West Division with a 9-10 conference mark. Under Mercer's direction, the 2007 Eagles set season records for digs (2,147) and block assists.
Mercer led the Eagles to a sixth-place finish in the GLVC regular-season standings with a 17-11 overall mark, 9-7 GLVC, in 2006. In the Great Lakes Region, the Eagles knocked off eventual region champion Ashland early in the season.
In 2005, Mercer led her squad to a 19-13 overall
record and an 11-5 mark in the GLVC. Her squad also posted wins over fifth-ranked North Alabama and 11th-ranked Northern
A native of Evansville and a 2002 graduate of USI, Mercer served Loyola University (Chicago) as the top assistant coach in 2004. She helped guide the Ramblers to a 22-9 overall record and a 10-4 mark in the Horizon League. Loyola won the Horizon League Tournament championship and qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament before falling to the University of Wisconsin in the first round.
Prior to her one-year stint at Loyola, Mercer spent a year as a graduate assistant coach at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She helped lead the Bobcats to a 28-5 overall record, the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles, and the programís first-ever berth in the NCAA I Tournament.
Mercer, who started her coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Purdue University in 2002, was a two-time All-GLVC performer and helped lead the Eagles to a three-year record of 61-27, including a 49-14 mark as a junior and senior. She averaged 3.1 kills per game during her three seasons of collegiate volleyball. Mercer also averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in two seasons with USIís womenís basketball program.
Mercer, who has a bachelorís degree in physical education (teaching K-12) and a masterís degree in recreation and sports science (coaching education), is the Screaming Eaglesí 11th head coach in the history of the program.