GCU Volleyball Camps
Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Ari Smith is in her first season as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for GCU women's volleyball.
Smith served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the University of San Francisco for the 2015 season, where the Dons went 17-14, including a 13-match winning streak and tournament wins in the San Francisco Invitational, Utah State Invitational, St. John’s Kaiser Classic and San Francisco Challenge.
Prior to San Francisco, Smith was the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Clemson. In her lone season with the Tigers, Smith helped guide the squad to an 18-13 overall record and assisted in the signings of five women to the ACC mainstay. Prior to her stint working with the Tigers, Smith served for a season at Wofford, working primarily with the defensive specialists while also serving as the team’s recruiting coordinator, travel coordinator and film specialist. That season, the Terriers advanced to the SoCon Tournament for the first time in seven seasons.
Smith worked as a graduate assistant at North Alabama in 2011 and 2012, where she mentored the outside hitters. Smith also played two seasons at North Alabama, earning a degree in communications and claiming an All-Gulf South Conference nod as a senior. North Alabama went to the NCAA Division II Tournament in both of her seasons competing for the Lions.
Prior to closing her collegiate playing career at North Alabama, Smith helped lead Kishwaukee College (Ill.) to its third consecutive NJCAA Division II National Championship. She was team captain and All-Arrowhead Conference selection during the championship season, which culminated not only in the title but also with a jaw-dropping overall record of 56-3.
Director of Volleyball Operations
Lauren Bewick enters her first season as GCU women’s volleyball Director of Operations in June of 2018.
She comes to the Lopes after graduating with her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership in 2018 from Lehigh University. At Lehigh, she also worked for the President of the University and with the volleyball program. Additionally, Bewick was the camp director for volleyball in the summer of 2017 and coached various camps and clinics from 2016-18.
Before arriving in Bethlehem, Bewick spent the previous two seasons at East Carolina University, where she earned two varsity letters by appearing in 61 matches for ECU as a libero and a defensive specialist. She totaled 49 assists and 32 service aces during her junior and senior seasons while averaging 2.01 digs per set. Prior to ECU, she spent two years as a member of the Campbell University volleyball team, ranking second on the team with 256 digs in 30 matches as a freshman in 2012, and recording double-digit digs on 12 occasions. In 2013, she averaged 1.86 digs per set for Campbell, reaching double digits on 16 occasions, including a pair of 20-plus dig performances.
Bewick served as an assistant coach at the Julie Torbett Volleyball Camp in 2014 and 2015, creating and supervising position specific drills, and assessing the skills of participants ages 10-18. She also gained coaching experience from 2014-15 with the East Carolina Junior Volleyball Club, where she officiated matches and coached athletes, while helping to develop teamwork and leadership skills.
Originally from Winterville, N.C., Bewick graduated from East Carolina in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Emily Witsaman was named GCU women’s volleyball assistant coach in January of 2018.
Witsaman comes to GCU from Upper Iowa, where she helped direct the Peacocks to a 21-9 mark. Before her time at UIU, she spent two seasons as a graduate assistant with the volleyball program at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio.
The Berg went 50-16 over Witsaman’s tenure and notched a 17-1 record in the OAC reaching the NCAA Regional Tournament twice and claiming the OAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship in 2015.
Prior to her successful run with the Heidelberg coaching staff, Witsaman was a four-year letter winner for the Retrievers of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, an NCAA Division I institution and a member of the America East Conference. As a senior, she was named to the America East All-Conference first team as a middle blocker after finishing the season with the second best hitting percentage in the conference (.295) and leading the team to a runner-up finish in the America East Tournament. As a junior, Witsaman led the conference in blocks and closed out her career with the Retrievers ranked sixth in program history in block assists and tenth in total blocks. She also kept busy off the court serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, Executive Board and also earned a spot on the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll as a senior.
A native of Medina, Ohio, Witsaman graduated from Medina High School before attending UMBC. She completed her Master's degree in business administration from Heidelberg. She is also a graduate of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy Class 43.