ATLANTA – With three weeks of practice now completed, the Georgia Tech volleyball team begins their 2000 campaign as they travel to Davidson, NC this weekend.
The Jackets will face Davidson on Friday at 1 p.m. in a non-conference match, and then will take on UNC-Wilmington at 5 p.m. in the opening match of the Davidson Invitational. Saturday, Tech will play Georgia State at 11 a.m. and then complete the tournament by taking on host Davidson at 1 p.m.
Weve had some great high level practices over the last three weeks, said head coach Shelton Collier. I think our team is ready for competition and the chance to play against someone other than themselves.
The Jackets return three veteran starters to their line-up as Kyleen Bell (Rocklin, Calif.), and Teryl Townsend (Alexandria, Minn.) hold the middle-blocker positions, and Maja Pachale (Schwerin, Germany) returns for her third year at the outside hitting position. The new faces to the lineup include Geeske Banck (Moekeberg, Germany) at the outside hitting position, junior-transfer Eida Mabry (Divjake, Albania) as the starting rightside hitter, and freshman Kele Eveland (Grand Rapids, Mich.) as the starting setter.
At this point, I do not see any changes to our starting lineup, said Collier. However, we have a number of players who could see significant playing time as we begin the season.
Those players include senior Christine Shelby (Joliet, Ill.) and freshman Keight Vincent (Atlanta, Ga.) who will enter matches as defensive substitutes, as well as junior Dore Pap (Budapest, Hungary) who could see time as an outside or rightside hitter. Freshman Amanda Hess (Indianapolis, Ind.) could also see playing time as either an outside hitter or as a backrow substitute.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the pre-season is the play of Eveland, a 5-10 freshman, who will run the offense for the Jackets.
“Kele has impressed me in that she came in physically and mentally ready to play, which can sometimes be hard for a freshman,” said Coller. “She reported to us in excellent physical shape and mentally ready to be the starting setter, which was necessary for us to have a succesful pre-season.”
As the Jackets prepare for their season-opener this weekend, Collier is extremely optimistic about the team and season ahead.
“We’ve got a great mix of players this season,” said Collier. I am confident that at any time, we have the ability for any number of players to step-up and make the play that needs to be made. I really like our chances in our non-conference schedule, and also in the ACC this year.