Brunswick, Ga. – With the College of Coastal Georgia women's volleyball team set to begin preseason camp next week, Coastal Georgia head coach Leah Mihm is proud to announce the new players that will join the team this fall as part of the Mariners' latest recruiting class.
Those players include freshman outside hitter Anaiya Catlett from Martinez; freshman setter Greta Gavin from Camino, Calif; freshman defensive specialist Laney Green from Orlando, Fla.; freshman setter Ashley Kott from Venice, Fla.; sophomore Addie Pedraza from El Paso, Texas; and freshman outside hitter Azure Werner from Henderson, Nev.
These players will join the eight returning players to give the Mariners 14 players for the upcoming 2017 season which be the first for Coastal Georgia in the Sun Conference.
"I feel like we got what we needed with this recruiting class," Mihm said. "Obviously, we knew we needed some setters with Cayley (Meiners) graduating, but we also wanted to find some (outside hitters) that could contribute to serve receive and also help out offensively. I think our outsides are pretty well-rounded which will help us defensively as well."
The incoming group includes a trio of outside hitters. One of those is Pedraza, who transferred to Coastal Georgia last spring after playing for New Mexico State as a freshman. A former standout at Centennial High in Las Cruces, New Mexico, she was captain of the team for three years while helping Centennial to a state title in the 2014 season. She also was district Player of the Year twice while getting picked to the district first-team and all-state teams several times.
"Addie started with us this past January and really developed a lot in the spring," Mihm said. "She's a good all-around player. She'll provide strong leadership for us and she has Division I experience and great volleyball knowledge which will be valuable to our team."
One of the other hitters in the class is Werner, who was a standout at Basic Academy, where she competed in both track and volleyball. Werner was member of the Sunrise Southeast league team and was a scholar-athlete in both her junior and senior seasons.
"She's another good all-around player," Mihm noted. "She's a powerful hitter, but she also is strong defensively and good in serve receive. She'll be competing for one of our starting positions."
Also among the outside hitters is Catlett who lettered in volleyball and also track during her prep career. She started high school at Evans which she helped to two Sweet 16 appearances in the Georgia state tournament and a second-place region finish before graduating from Grovetown which she helped to a second-round berth in the state tournament and a third-place region finish. Catlett won awards while playing club volleyball in both Augusta and Aiken, S.C.
"She's very athletic, a really good jumper," Mihm noted. "I think she will develop into a really strong player for us."
The two incoming setters are Gavin and Kott. Gavin will come to Coastal Georgia after a standout career at El Dorado High in Placerville, Calif., which she helped to back-to-back undefeated seasons in 2015 and 2016 which included Sierra Valley Conference championships. Gavin was voted all-league both of those years while being named her team's Best Offensive Player in 2016. She also was on the school honor roll every semester.
Kott played at Venice High, where she was team captain as a senior and earned the senior varsity athletic award. Kott helped her team to back-to-back district championships in 2015 and 2016 while Venice also won a regional title and advanced to the state Final Four in 2015. In 2016, Venice finished with a 24-4 record. Kott graduated summa cum laude and was a member of the National Honor Society.
"(Kott) comes from a very successful high-school program and has been very well-trained," Mihm explained. "(Gavin) is a dynamic setter and she's also a smart player.
"Both of these girls will be competing for the starting spot. For both of them, it's really going to be about catching up to the speed of college volleyball. With setting, it's really all about the chemistry of the team and who can be a leader on the court. Those things are as important as the skill-set."
Also set to join the Mariners is Green, a defensive specialist who enjoyed a solid prep career at the First Academy, which she helped to a state championship in 2016, a runner-up finish in 2015, three Final Four appearances, four district crowns and also a region title in 2016. Green won defensive player of the year honors in 2015 along with the highest digs award and was named for the Coach's Award in 2016. She also played club volleyball for Top Select, a top program in Florida.
"She's going to be very good for us," Mihm said. "She's just very solid. It looks natural for her on the court."
These players will join the Mariners for preseason camp with the first practice set for this coming Monday.