ATLANTA (Feb. 3) — With the hopes of returning to the NCAA Tournament and competing for the ACC Championship, head coach Shelton Collier announced Wednesday the signing of two all-Americas.
The Yellow Jackets add Kele Eveland (Grand Rapids, Mich.), a 5-11 setter and Amanda Hess (Indianapolis, Ind.), a 6-0 outside hitter, to help rebuild a squad which graduated three seniors following the 1999 season. Tech loses three-year starting setter Carolyn Clevenger (Oakland, Calif.) and part-time starters Sara McKee (Highland Village, Texas) and Amanda Medrow (Milwaukee, Wis.) to graduation this season.
“With Carolyn, Sara and Amanda graduating, we will be losing three starters in our line-up, so it was important to bring in two recruits who would make an immediate impact into our program,” said Collier. “Both Amanda and Kele fit that description and will play important roles as freshmen.”
Eveland, a 1999 Junior Olympic all-America, has helped East Kentwood to an impressive 62-15 record as the team’s starting setter for three years and was named first team all-state her junior year. She carries a 4.0 grade point average and is currently ranked number one in a class of 220. In addition to volleyball, Eveland also was a three-year starter at forward for her high school basketball team and helped them advance to the state semi-finals in November. A well-rounded student who is a National Honor Society member, Eveland was named the school’s homecoming queen this fall, the first time a student-athlete had received such recognition at East Kentwood.
“I really believe that Kele will be a very special setter and team leader for Georgia Tech for the next four years,” said Collier. “She is not only a talented setter, but one of the most intense competitors I have ever seen and recruited. She will very quickly be a very important part of our program and will be a key reason as to why we make great strides in the years to come.”
Hess is a 1998 Volleyball Magazine Prep all-America who plays for Circle City, one of the nation’s top club programs. A four-year starter for Avon High School, Hess was named all-state as an outside hitter her junior and senior years and helped her team to a 27-8 record her senior year. Hess will also be expected to play an important role as a freshman with her hitting skills and passing ability.
“Amanda has so many of the ideal qualities we were looking for in an outside hitter,” said Collier. “Out of all the players I recruited, she was one of the best serve receivers I saw. Serve reception is an area in which we need to make some improvements, so I expect Amanda to have an immediate impact on our team. In addition, she is a talented hitter who has had a great deal of experience, and I expect her to see a lot of playing time as a freshman.”
Georgia Tech returns four starters from a team which finished the 1999 season with a 17-14 record, including first team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection Maja Pachale (Schwerin, Germany) and Kyleen Bell (Rocklin, Calif.), a 1999 Junior Olympic team member. Collier expects to add three more recruits to his 2000 class later in February.