The College of Coastal Georgia volleyball team will begin preparing for its first season in The Sun Conference with six new players from the 2017 recruiting class.
The five incoming freshmen include outside hitters Anaiya Catlett (Martinez) and Azure Werner (Henderson, Nev.), setters Greta Gavin (Camino, Calif.) and Ashley Kott (Venice, Fla.) and defensive specialist Laney Green (Orlando). The Mariners also added sophomore New Mexico State transfer Addie Pedraza from El Paso, Texas.
Head coach Leah Mihm said the Mariners were able to fill the gaps in the roster voided by graduating seniors while also adding depth.
“I feel like we got what we needed with this recruiting class,” Mihm said in a press release. “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.”
Pedraza is a former district Player of the Year at Centennial High School in Las Cruces, N.M., where she served as the team captain for three seasons and won a state title in 2014.
“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.”
Freshman outside hitters Werner and Catlett are both former two-sport athletes in track and volleyball. Werner was a scholar athlete at Basic Academy in the Sunrise Southeast league. Catlett and her teammates advanced to two Sweet 16s at Evans High School before finishing her prep career at Grovetown High School.
“(Werner) is 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.
“(Catlett) is very athletic, a really good jumper. ... I think she will develop into a really strong player for us.”
Setters Gavin and Kott will compete for spots in the starting lineup in their freshmen seasons, according to Mihm. Gavin was a part of back-to-back undefeated teams at El Dorado High School as a junior and senior, and Kott won back-to-back district titles at Venice High School.
“Both of these girls will be competing for the starting spot,” Mihm said. “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.”
Green also saw plenty of team success at First Academy, where she was part of a state title run in 2016 after finishing runner up in 2015. She played club volleyball at Top Select in Florida.
“She’s just very solid. It looks natural for her on the court,” Mihm said.
Coastal is set to begin preseason camp on Aug. 7 and will host an alumnae exhibition Aug. 12.