Talladega, AL-The 2012 version of the Talladega College Volleyball Team will have many new faces. With returning players Gabby Powell, Raven Black and Paris Powell, Coach Ron Burt will add Zia Mose, red shirted last year, a junior college transfer and 5 new freshmen.
Gabby Powell and Black will bolster the offense with new comers; Junior College transfer Avrielle Walker from Gavilan College in Gilroy, CA, Right Side Hitter Sarina Thompson,(Brown Deer, WI), Outside Hitter KeShawna Ximines, (Delaware, OH), Middle Hitter Tanaira Rounds and Outside Hitter Blair Wheeler, (Los Angeles, CA, and Right side/ defensive specialist Briel Dawson, (Prattville, AL). The Tornadoes defense will be led by Libero Paris Powell. Burt says of his 2012 team, "we will be deeper and more explosive this year. With added depth, we can exploit the other team's weaknesses better and I look forward to a successful season". The Tornadoes play in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) and Coach Burt states" the conference will be tougher this year, but I expect us to challenge for the conference title". The new version of the Lady Tornadoes Volleyball team will begin the season on the road at The Reinhardt University Tournament in Waleska, GA against Reinhardt, Emmanuel and Tennessee Temple. The team will play its first home match in Tornado Alley on September 1st against Tennessee Wesleyan.
Gabby, Paris and Raven will play integral roles with the 2012 team. Gabby was first in The GCAC in assists and third in the conference in assists per set. She also received one GCAC Conference Player of the week. Paris finished 2011 number 9 in digs per set and number 5 in total digs while Raven ended the season number 7 in the conference in total blocks and blocks per set. Zia, redshirted in 2011, will return and add height and versatility to our front line as she will be a key to the offensive side of play. Zia can play any of the front row positions and play them well. "I look for big things from Zia", says Coach Burt.
Burt on Thompson, "Sarina will be a big part of the offense and defense as her height will lend to a big block on the right side and her power and touch will be an effective tool on offense". She comes from a great club program, Wisconsin Juniors, and has played in big events so her experience will help as well.
Coach on Ximines, " Shawna will add power and strength to our front court. She has explosive jumping power and she has made herself into a very good passer". Ximines athleticism will be key as she will be asked to fill the role of graduated GCAC Player of The year Shalitha Swain. Shawna will play a big part in the offense and should be able grow into the shoes of the player she is replacing.
Burt on Dawson, "Briel is one of those players every coach looks for. She is capable of doing so many things on the court. Her athleticism is her greatest asset and she is able to play many positions". She comes from a small school, but played in a club that played a strong regional schedule so she is not afraid of competition".
Coach on Rounds, A second family member to attend TC, Tanaira has athletics in her family. Tanaira's sister played for the Lady Tornadoes Basketball team during the National Championship years. "T will give stability and versatility to the front line". "She will play a role of offensive and defensive power as I expect her to be able to dominate the net". She is quick and has a long wingspan which makes her a force at the net.
Burt on Wheeler, "Blair will be able to move in and out of the lineup at many positions". "She is a strong team player and can jump and put the ball down for a kill against anyone. She will provide depth to be able to utilize players at different positions to confuse the opponent".
Burt on Walker, "Avry came to us last year during the spring semester and was able to practice with the returners and formed a bond so she will be a main part of our 2012 season. She was All Conference at her Junior College in 2011 and I expect her to bring that experience to The Lady Tornadoes". "She brings a passion and maturity to the team that will pay big dividends".