Aug. 8, 2001
ATLANTA – After a successful 12-day tour of Germany in which the Yellow Jackets played six matches, the 2001 Georgia Tech volleyball team began practice Wednesday with high hopes.
Georgia Tech, the pre-season favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference, returns four starters to a team which finished 25-8 and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. First team all-ACC selections Kyleen Bell (Rocklin, Calif.) and Maja Pachale (Schwerin, Germany), return for their senior seasons, while Kele Eveland (Grand Rapids, Mich.), the ACC Rookie of the Year, enters her sophomore season as the starting setter. Outside hitter Amanda Hess (Indianapolis, Ind.) also returns for her second year on the Flats.
“We are going into practice with very high expectations,” said head coach Shelton Collier. “Our returning players just came off playing very competitively on the German tour and our six new players are all very talented and experienced and very enthusiastic. We are really excited about the start of two-a-days because I think we can take momentum from the Germany tour and have our young players injected into our practices. I am really looking forward to having an opportunity to work with this group in practice.”
However, unlike the Germany tour, there will be a few more people in the gym this week as the six freshman reported for practice Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets welcome Junior Olympic all-American Lynnette Moster (Liberty, Ind..), outside hitter Lauren Sauer (Huntsville, Ala.), middle blockers Jayme Gergen (Topeka, Kansas) and Laura Kuhn (Tiffin, Ohio), defensive specialist Marisa Aston (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and setter Tina Mesquita (Jamul, Calif.).
” I am excited about our incoming players,” said Collier. “Each of our freshmen is going to have a chance to play very significant roles. Lynnette and Lauren both have an excellent chance to be starters for us, while Jayme and Laura will battle for a starting position at middle blocker. Marisa will be a key backcourt player for us, and Tina will be a very solid backup at the setter position.”
The Yellow Jackets look to build upon the recent trip to Germany, which afforded Tech the opportunity to play against some of the top club teams in the area.
“I was very pleased with our performance in Germany,” said Collier. “Many of our players who will play significant roles for us had the chance to play against high-level competition and it really brought out the best in them. This should give us a jump going into two-a-day practices.”
The Yellow Jackets will conduct two-a-day practices over the next 11 days. Tech opens its season on Aug. 31 against Utah and Texas Tech in the Utah Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah.