April 15, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech volleyball signed three student-athletes to its roster in 2015 head coach Michelle Collier announced Wednesday. The class includes signee Anna Kavalchuk (Minsk, Belarus), signee Hellen Lacava (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and transfer Gabrielle Benda (Raleigh, N.C./Marquette).
“We are very excited about the addition of these new players to our program,” Collier said. “They bring in a lot of experience and knowledge of the game, and they will make an immediate impact on our level of play and our culture on and off the court.”
“Lauren Frerking (6’2″, middle blocker/RS from Weslyan High School- A5 VB Club) and Kerrie Greene (5’10”, setter/DS from Westminster HS- Tsunami VB Club) are great walk-on additions to our program as well,” Collier said. “Not only are they outstanding students and young women, they also come in have played for very successful high school and club programs in the area. We are happy to strengthen our squad with some top local talent and we are looking forward to their exciting careers at Tech.”
Anna Kavalchuk | Outside Hitter | 5’11” | Minsk, Belarus/Republican State School of Olympic Reserve
Anna Kavalchuk is a 5-11 outside hitter from Minsk, Belarus. She competes at the highest amateur league in Belarus, and has been a member of the volleyball team at the Republican State Olympic Reserve School.
She participated on the Belarus National Youth Team and played in the Eastern European Volleyball Zonal Association in 2012, where she helped the team win first place. In addition, she played in the qualifying rounds of the European Youth Championships in 2013.
She earned MVP honors in the international tournament in Poland in 2012 and in the Belarusian Volleyball Championship B Division in 2014.
“Anna is a dynamic player, jumps really well, has great all-around skills, and she will help add some depth to the outside hitter position,” Collier said. “She has played internationally at a very high level and competed against some really strong players, which is what she will be facing in the ACC. Our conference is getting stronger and we need players that have been challenged at a high level to help us raise the level in our gym. I am excited for Anna’s arrival and she will be an outstanding addition to our program.”
Hellen Lacava | Libero/Outside Hitter | 6’0″ | Sao Paulo, Brazil/Centro Educacional Paulista – Osasco
Hellen Lacava is a libero and outside hitter from Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2013, she was one of the top 12 players that earned a spot to play for the National Championship representing the state of Sao Pauli and helped the team finish third.
She won a National Championship representing the state of Rio De Janeiro in 2009 and 2010, and won the South American Championships on the Brazilian Youth National Team. She played for the Niteroi Volleyball Club from 2008-2010, and won a national championship in the 14-under division in 2009.
In addition, from 2012-2014 she played for Bradesco Sport & Education and won state championships at several age divisions, as well as winning the National League in 2013.
“Hellen has played for a lot of strong teams in Brazil,” Collier said. “She has always been respected by her teammates and coaches not only for her volleyball skills but also for her work ethic and discipline. She will impact our program in many ways, and we can’t wait to get in our gym.”
Gabrielle Benda | Setter | 6’0″ | Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield High School
Gabrielle Benda is a 6-0 left-handed setter and transfers to Georgia Tech from Marquette. In one year with the Golden Eagles, Benda played in 31 matches, starting 23 of them. She led the team with 864 assists, averaging 7.78 assists per set. Benda tallied 15 aces on the season and 189 digs.
At Wakefield High School, Benda was a four-time letterwinner and two-time team captain. She helped Wakefield to its first North Carolina Class AAAA state title in 2013 as a senior. She was named the Cap-8 Conference Co-Player of the Year as a senior, while leading the Wolverines with 979 assists for an average of 10.50 per set. She led the squad to an overall record of 92-12 in four years as a starter at setter and right-side hitter and amassed 2,158 assists in her career.
“Gabby is a fierce competitor and a winner,” Collier said. “She will add more depth and talent to our setting position and will make others around her better. She has been a tremendous leader in all the teams that she has played for and we are looking forward to her bringing her intensity and leadership to our program.”