Oct. 6, 2014
By Jon Cooper
The Good Word – The early 2000s were a golden age for Georgia Tech Volleyball, especially the period between 2000 and 2004, when the Yellow Jacket reached the NCAA Tournament all five years, including reaching the Elite Eight and the Sweet 16.
Lynnette Moster was a big reason for that success during that stretch, starring on the outside pin from 2001 through 2004.
On Friday, Oct. 10, Georgia Tech will honor Moster, one of the most decorated players in Georgia Tech volleyball history in her years on The Flats, inducting her into the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame. She’ll be part of a class of six that also includes James Butler and Luke Manget (Football), Michael Johnson (Track and Field), Alvin Jones (Basketball), and Bryan Prince (Baseball). The event will be held at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. Tickets for the dinner are $50 and can be purchased through the Alexander-Tharpe Fund at 404-894-6124. The inductees will also be honored during Georgia Tech’s football game against Duke on Saturday, Oct. 11, at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Moster, a second-team All-American in 2002 and a third-teamer in 2003 and 2004 — the first Yellow Jacket and ACC player to earn three American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honors — will become the sixth volleyball player to be inducted and the third in four years from that era, joining outside hitter Maja Pachale (Class of 2011) and setter Kele Eveland (Class of 2013).
“It’s wonderful to have that group get recognized because that four or five years of Georgia Tech volleyball was just so strong and so competitive,” said Moster, a Liberty, Ind., native, who is in her third year as associate head coach at Northern Illinois University. “To make it to the NCAA Tournament five straight years was pretty cool.
“I really appreciate those years because coaching now, it is extremely difficult to get a team into the NCAA Tournament,” she added. “It was a pretty cool thing to have all four years getting that experience.”
Moster first arrived on campus in 2001, joining a team that had returned to the NCAAs for the first time since 1996, and was ACC regular season co-champions, and immediately made an impact.
She played in every match, recording 104 kills (13 against Louisville), had 12 double-digit digs matches and recorded a team-high 46 service aces. More importantly, she got to play with Pachale.
“Maja Pachale was a phenomenal player,” Moster recalled. “I was so happy to have gotten the year that I had to learn from her and to see what she was doing, what she was able to do and just build from there. She was a great person to look up to.”
Moster learned well from playing with Pachale, and led the team in kills and kill attempts each of the next three years while continuing to pace the team in aces, a category which she would lead the team all four years and earning her unprecedented back-to-back-to-back All-America honors.
The Jackets took off beginning in 2002, as they ushered in the Bond Shymansky era going a 33-6 (13-3 in ACC play), and winning the ACC Tournament championship. Moster won Tournament MVP honors. They’d start 2003 with 23 straight wins on the way to a 34-4 season, including a 15-1 mark in conference play to bring home the regular season conference title. The Jackets got all the way to the Elite Eight before dropping a four-set match to Hawaii. Moster was rewarded, being named Georgia Tech Female Athlete of the Year for 2002-03.
Her final season also would prove a superb one. Tech overcame an 0-4 start to finish 27-7. They ran off a 21-match winning streak including a perfect 16-0 conference record to earn another ACC regular season championship. Moster was named ACC Player of the Year and helped the Jackets advance to the Sweet 16 before they were eliminated in an epic five-set match against Minnesota.
Although the loss to the Golden Gophers was a tough ending to her career, Lynnette still recalls the match and has no regrets.
“We ended up losing that match, but at the same time, I think we were victorious because we realized all of that work that we had put in up until that point really paid off,” she said. “To have that kind of experience to go out on was pretty amazing. We gave it everything that we had and so did Minnesota and it was, by far, my favorite college match, ever.”
Moster would leave Georgia Tech at or near the top of nearly every offensive category and still ranks at the top ten in career kills (1,859, second), kills per set (4.02, third), digs (1,456, fifth), aces (193, third), and hitting percentage (.308, eighth).
Following graduation, she played professionally in Puerto Rico for a short time and trained with the U.S. National Team in 2005 and 2006 before going into coaching. She served as an assistant at Albany and Georgetown and was head coach at Olivet College, where she led the program to its first double-digit-win season in 25 years before coming to NIU.
Moster still keeps an eye on Georgia Tech and was watching very closely in 2012, when Monique Mead passed her for most career kills.
There were no sour grapes or even any regret over moving from first to second for this prestigious record. Only admiration.
“It was really fun to see when she was getting closer and closer. I was rooting for her,” said Moster, who still holds three of the top five single-season marks for kills, including the school-best 629 in 2002. “If someone’s going to break a record of yours you want it to be someone that you respect and I respect her. With the things that she was able to do in her career, I was super-excited for her.”
“In college, Jayme was my teammate, best friend, and roommate,” said Moster. “Now, she is not only my best friend but also family with her marrying my cousin. I couldn’t ask for a better person to introduce me at the biggest night of my life!”
It’s a night Moster is thankful for mainly because she never really saw it coming. She also is grateful to her boss, head coach Ray Gooden, who gave her the weekend off — the Huskies play at Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan.
“You never expect anything like this to happen,” she said. “It’s wonderful to not only have Kele Eveland inducted into the Hall of Fame last year but to also have another player from the same group inducted the next year. I was just very humbled with the notification and I’m super-excited about making it back down to Georgia Tech and seeing campus again and seeing some familiar faces and getting a chance to say `Thank you’ to all of those that helped in the process.
“I have been working on what I’m going to say,” she added. “I keep thinking about what would be the proper thing but after some time, I’m like, `I’m going to spend all 10 minutes of my speech saying `Thank you.” That’s pretty much what I’ve come to realize. There were so many things that went into. It’s very refreshing to think back and remember all those things that we went through those four years. There’s a lot to be thankful for.”
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