Feb. 10, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Erin Heffner Ventress, one of the best volleyball players in Alabama volleyball history, passed away Saturday night at the age of 30 after her battle with cancer.
“The Alabama family lost a competitor and true champion,” said Alabama volleyball head coach Ed Allen. “Erin played a huge part in the building of the Alabama program for coach Judy Green. I’m certain she will be missed by all whom she touched.”
Ventress, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., helped lay the foundation for one of the most successful eras in Alabama volleyball history. A letterwinner from 2001-04, the team won an SEC Western Division title in her senior season. Ventress was an honorable mention AVCA All-American in 2003 and 2004 and still holds school records for career kills (2,090) and attacks (4,785).
After graduating from Alabama in 2004, she earned her masters degree from the University of Montevallo, where she served as an assistant volleyball coach from 2007-09. She was a physical education teacher at Berry Middle School since 2010, also coaching the volleyball and girls basketball teams. She coached the 2011-12 seventh-grade girls basketball team to a 19-1 record and a Metro South Conference Championship, a first at Berry Middle School.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, at Ridout's Trussville Chapel, with interment to follow in Jefferson Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Thursday evening from 6 until 8 p.m.
Mrs. Ventress is survived by her husband Thomas A. Ventress IV, parents Robert and Cathy Heffner, brothers Paul and Christopher, sister Evelyn Heffner. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made to The V Foundation for Cancer Research in her name.