Cal Poly beach volleyball added three transfer students to its program: freshman Tia Miric, junior Tessa Tooman and freshman Jamie Stivers. All three have a winning pedigrees and will play for the Mustangs when this year’s season begins.
A freshman transfer from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, Miric led Canada to its first U-21 World Beach Volleyball Championship in 2014, also winning tournament MVP. She is also a three-time Provincial champion, which is the largest volleyball tournament in British Columbia, a three-time national champion, a two-time Provincial silver medalist and a two-time Provincial bronze medalist.
She dominated as an indoor volleyball player, becoming a two-time Ontario champion, earning two consecutive Provincial All-Star Awards and two Canadian National All-Star Awards. Miric was mainly drawn to Cal Poly by beach volleyball head coach Todd Rogers.
“For [Rogers] to contact me and ask me to play for him was the most incredible thing that could’ve happened, so that’s really what drew me here,” Miric said. “Then realizing what an amazing school this was just made it even better, so it was first Todd, but then reading into what Cal Poly is like was amazing.”
Rogers remarked that Miric is “a fantastic defender with experience above and beyond her years.”
Tooman transferred from Santa Monica Junior College where she was the team’s number one seed and captain. She also competed for the San Diego Beach Volleyball Club, which was the number-one ranked team in the nation at the time. Tooman was also the number one seed for La Jolla High School’s beach volleyball team.
For Tooman, Cal Poly has become somewhat of a family tradition.
“A lot of my family has gone here,” Tooman said. “It really feels like home for sure.”
Rogers called Tooman a “solid all-around player who can block or defend as well as play left side or right side.”
Stivers is a freshman transfer from Duke University and will compete for both the Cal Poly beach and indoor volleyball teams. According to Rogers, Stivers has an exceptional hand-eye ability and touch on the ball.
Playing on Duke’s indoor team, Stivers started 18 of the team’s 30 matches while finishing second on her team in aces and fifth in kills. She also was a Prepvolleyball.com High School All-American and Under Armour All-America honorable mention while at Coppell High School in Coppell, Texas. Stivers was also selected to participate in the USA Volleyball High-Performance Sand program from 2012 to 2015.
“All three players are experienced players and there is no substitute for experience in beach volleyball,” Rogers said. “The experience they have along with the experienced players on the team will help bring us to the next level; that level [is] being competitive with the top 10 teams in the country and making the NCAA tournament.”
Miric, Tooman and Stivers will all be in action together for the first time when the Mustangs take on Louisiana State (LSU), Grand Canyon (GCU), and Pepperdine on Feb. 23 in Phoenix.
“Our opening weekend in Phoenix, we will be playing three of the eight teams that made the NCAA tournament last year … this should give us an idea of where we stand compared to the teams that have been at the top over the last several years,” Rogers said. “Throughout the course of the season, we will be playing all but a handful of the top teams, so we will be constantly tested.”