ATLANTA (August 16) — After his first week of workouts, in which the Jackets practiced nine times, head volleyball coach Shelton Collier has much optimism entering the 1999 season.
“Our first week of practice went really well,” said Collier. “Our experienced players came back in great shape, and obviously played some volleyball over the summer. As a team, it seems we are ahead of schedule at this point.”
One of Collier’s goals entering two-a-days was to improve in the area of defense, and the Jackets seem to have made great strides.
“We’ve really improved in our individual and team defense,” he said. “We spent all spring focusing on defense, so I am pleased to see all that effort pay off.”
Individually, several Yellow Jackets have caught the eye of Collier, including junior Christine Shelby (Shorewood, Ill.), senior Carolyn Clevenger (Oakland, Calif.) and junior Teryl Townsend (Alexandria,Minn.).
“Christine has been very impressive,” said Collier. “She was hungry to take over Carla Gartner’s starting position, and she has really done well in every aspect of her game.
“In addition, Teryl has been playing at a very high level,” continued Collier. “After missing half of last season with an injury, she has been very determined and focused in practice. Carolyn has been running our offense at a very high, efficient level and I’m pleased with her effort, as well.”
The Yellow Jackets, picked to finish third in the ACC Preseason Poll, will continue practicing twice a day until school begins onAugust 23.
“We will keep working hard, five to six hours a day right up until school starts,” said Collier. “Then, we will back off to one practice a day and be ready for our opening tournament.”
Georgia Tech will open its season on the road in the Texas-Arlington/Jason’s Deli Tournament in Arlington, Texas, Sept.3-4.