ATLANTA — After 10 days of practice, the Georgia Tech volleyball team departs on Tuesday for an exciting 13-day tour of Germany. The Yellow Jackets will spend half of the trip sight-seeing and the other half competing against teams in the areas of Hamburg, Cuxhaven, Schwerin, Anklam and Berlin.
“Our players and staff are very excited about the trip to Germany,” said head coach Shelton Collier. “This is a chance for many of us to see a part of the world we have not experienced, while also allowing us the opportunity to play against some of the top teams in Germany. In addition, this is a chance to have a homecoming trip for the two German players on our team, Maja (Pachale) and Alexandra (Preiss).”
The Jackets are scheduled to play six matches while on the voyage, including a match against the German Youth National team and two matches against the Schwerin club team, the former club team of standout outside hitter, Pachale.
“The competition will be interesting because we are going to play a wide range of teams,” said Collier.” “We will play some club teams with veteran players who are in their late 20s and 30s and very experienced, the German Junior National team, the German Youth National Team and the Schwerin club team. So, this will be an opportunity for us to compete against many of the best young players in Germany as well as some veteran club players.”
Tech returns four starters to a team which was recently tabbed as the favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference by the ACC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Jackets finished the 2000 season with a 25-8 record and won a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference Regular Season title, while advancing to the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.
“Our main objective is for each individual player to have the opportunity in Germany to raise the level of their game to be better prepared for the upcoming fall season,” said Collier. “We are hoping that our returning starters, Pachale, Kyleen Bell (Rocklin, Calif.), Kele Eveland (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Amanda Hess (Indianapolis, Ind.) will make some developments in their games and come back even more ready in the fall. In addition, middle blocker Preiss (Berlin, Germany) will have the opportunity to be challenged in some high level matches and will develop her game in preparation for next season.”
The Yellow Jackets will return to Atlanta on August 5 before beginning two-a-day practices on August 8. Tech will open its season at the Utah Tournament, facing Texas Tech and Utah on August 31.
“We have had very good practices to prepare for our trip to Germany which has really allowed some of our players to develop,” said Collier. “When you take a trip like this once every four years, you not only get the benefit of the trip, you get the benefit of training for the trip.”
“We have some very important matches early in our season so we are hoping that playing well in Germany will give us some momentum to play well in our early pre-conference matches against teams like Texas Tech, Utah and Colorado State. If we can get some momentum and development in Germany, it will be a tremendous start to our season.” -30-