ATLANTA (Aug. 9) – With 10 of 13 players returning, including five starters, from a team which finished 22-13, Georgia Tech head volleyball coach Shelton Collier begins the 1999 preseason with a great deal of optimism.
“I really like this team a lot as we head into this season,” said Collier. “We have a good mix of experience, talent and determination.”
Leading the group of returning players is sophomore Kyleen Bell (Rocklin, Calif.), who practiced with the USA Junior National Team this summer and who will compete in the USA Junior National Championships in September.
“As a result of her experience with the Junior National Team, Ky will bring a whole new level of play into our gym this season,” said Collier. “She trained with top players all summer, so I will be anxious to see her in our practices.”
In addition, senior setter Carolyn Clevenger (Oakland, Calif.) and senior outside hitter Sara McKee (Highland Village, Tex.) return after spending much of the 1998 season suffering from injuries.
“I think we have a perfect mix of confidence and determination with our seniors,” said Collier. “They have really committed to positioning our team for an ACC Championship and to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. A hungry team is a coach’s dream.”
The Jackets also return outside hitter Maja Pachale (Schwerin, Germany) and middle blocker Teryl Townsend (Alexandria, Minn.) to their line-ups. Pachale returns as a sophomore after earning all-ACC Freshman honors, and Townsend returns for her junior season after leading Tech in hitting percentage (.333) a year ago.
“With five returning starters and an experienced junior filling the other starting position, I believe we will have a team that will play at a high level early in the year,” said Collier. “I’m hoping for a great start with this team this season.”
Tech’s volleyball team reported to campus Monday, and will have 24 practice sessions before opening their season on the road at the Texas-Arlington/Jason’s Deli tournament in Arlington, Texas.