(CLEVELAND)– The Truett McConnell University women’s volleyball team announced 16 incomers for their 2020 season on Monday. The Lady Bears completed their 2019 season with the program’s most-ever wins (18-19, 12-9 AAC) and made a run in the Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament upsetting the No. 2 seed, which landed them in the semifinals.
“We are very excited about this group of young ladies who have committed to play at TMU,” Head Coach Mark Corbin said. “We’ve had a lot of talented recruits consider TMU and we believe that these ladies that are coming on board are just the kind of student-athletes we have been looking for to enhance our volleyball program.
This recruiting class is the largest in TMU volleyball history and we feel that each one of these girls will help our program grow both on and off the court. Our returners have done an excellent job showing these commits what our program is all about. We are a family that takes care of each other and we will continue to do that with this incoming group.
With our spring season being canceled and our returning players sent home for the remainder of the school year, it is going to take a lot of individual work on the part of both our returners and new athletes. I believe that each of these girls has the desire to be the best they can be individually and as a team. It is going to take a lot of team encouragement, accountability, and passion to get ourselves in the physical and mental shape in time for preseason. Even in this time of adversity going on in our country, I believe this team will come out stronger because of it.
We are excited about the upcoming fall 2020 season and hope to break more school records. I believe that we will see a lot of fun and exciting things from this group come August!”
Meet the 2020 class:
Emily Bruning
Richmond Hill, GA
Libero/Defensive Specialist
Richmond Hill High School/Club Savannah
Parents: Jake & Allyson Bruning
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because Coach Corbin and the team made it feel like home.”
Coach Corbin on Bruning: “Emily was the first 2020 player to commit to TMU.  She has a passion for the game and it shows on the court.  Her solid passing skills will help out our backrow defense.  Emily’s positive attitude is something we really look for in our recruits and I believe that her great spirit will help our team stay positive at all times.”
Logan Butchart
Auburn, GA
Middle Blocker
Apalachee High School/Prolink Volleyball Club
Parents: Joseph & Laurie Sloan
Exercise Science
Why TMU? I chose TMU because it offers majors to help me move forward in my career and it offers me the chance to grow in my faith and closer to God. I also have family members who attend Truett making college feel more like home for me.”
Coach Corbin on Butchart: “Logan is coming off a great high school career where she helped lead her team to regional championship and a 44-8 record.  She was one of top blockers in her conference and the state.  Her length gives her a great reach which is important when it comes to blocking.  We look forward to her continuing to grow in the game at the next level and using her skills and athletic ability to improve our front row.”
Alana Davis
Las Vegas, NV
Sierra Vista High School/Vegas Velocity Volleyball Club
Parents: Lorin & Tanya Davis
Criminal Justice
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because I wanted a pretty big change.  I have lived in Las Vegas my whole life so I just wanted something new and different.  Also, when I visited TMU I instantly loved the campus, connected with people, and bonded really well with the girls on the team and just know that is where I wanted to go.”
Coach Corbin on Davis: “Within the first couple of minutes of meeting Alana knew that she would be a perfect fit at TMU.  She has a great attitude and instantly clicked with the players on the team.  Our depth at the setting position is not very big, so having Alana come in will definitely help us in that position.  I believe that she will be able to learn a lot from our current setters and grow tremendously this coming season.”
Madyson Dunn
Oshkosh, WI
Defensive Specialist
Valley Christian High School
Parents: Brad & Kristy Dunn
Business Administration and Marketing
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because I felt at home when I stepped on campus.  I love the atmosphere and the message the school has.”
Coach Corbin on Dunn: “Mady is another players coming off a great high school career.  She finished her career setting a school record for most digs with 1,463 and leading the conference with the most digs.  Her ability to get to balls quickly will help us run a better and quicker offense.”
Virginia Hudson
St. Augustine, FL
Right Side
Homeschool/Jacksonville Juniors Volleyball Association
Parents: John & Michelle Hudson
Exercise Science
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because during my visit with the team I could feel a true sense of camaraderie and support amongst the girls.  The atmosphere of a small Christian school allows me to study what I want to study without compromising my values and beliefs.”
Coach Corbin on Hudson: “Virginia comes to TMU with a lot of experience at the high school and club level.  She has played both middle blocker and right side which has helped her develop into a well-rounded player. With her height and vertical, Virginia can cover a lot of the net with her block.  She also has a great swing that will help our offense greatly.”
McKay Hyatt
Greensboro, GA
Defensive Specialist/Outside Hitter
Gatewood School
Parents: Kenny & Amy Hyatt
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because I wanted to go to a school where I felt important and that had a small town feel.  The volleyball team is on the rise and I want to be part of that success. I know I’ll get pushed to be the best I can be and hopefully that will lead to a lot of success on and off the court.”
Coach Corbin on Hyatt: “McKay comes to TMU with experience at every positon.  She is a very versatile players with a huge competitive spirit.  I love how McKay is never satisfied with how she plays.  She is always looking for ways to improve and help her team.  That attitude will help her greatly at the collegiate level.  She will also help push everyone around her to be the best they can be.”
Kennedy Jackson
Hometown: Stone Mountain, GA
Position: Middle Blocker
School/Club Team: Andrew College (Transfer)
Parents: Jeff & Daneen Jackson
Health Science
Why TMU? “I heard it was great school with an amazing volleyball program.”
Coach Corbin on Jackson: “Kennedy is coming off of two season of college experience.  This experience will help her be able to quickly adapt to our overall volleyball program.  She has quick feet and her height and vertical jump help her put a big block up against opposing hitters which is an area we have been looking to improve on as a team.  Kennedy has a great attitude and I believe will fit in very well with our team.”
Rachel Kessler
Hometown: Greenback, TN
Position: Libero/Defensive Specialist
School/Club Team: William Blount High School/Club Unite
Parents: Stacy & Laura Kessler
Criminal Justice
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because it really felt like home. I like the small community. The girls on the team are very nice and welcoming.  I feel like it is a place I can learn and grow.  I am excited to continue my academic and athletic careers with TMU.”
Coach Corbin on Kessler: “Rachel’s ability to read opposing hitters is quite impressive.  She is able to dig up a lot of balls because of it which will help out our backrow defense a lot.  Her attitude on the court is one of determination to never let the ball touch the ground and that is what we need from our backrow players.”
Gertrude Ominia
Griffin, GA
Outside Hitter
Skipstone Academy
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because of the education, athletics and the way the school always puts God first.”
Coach Corbin on Ominia: “The first thing I noticed with Gertrude when she visited campus was her amazing spirit with those around her.  When she enters a room everyone’s attitude is immediately lifted.  Gertrude is young when it comes to volleyball, but her determination will help her make up ground.  I look forward to Gertrude being part of our program and bringing that smile every day to the court.”
Haley Parks
Blue Ridge, GA
Defensive Specialist
Fannin County High School/North Georgia Volleyball Club
Parent: Garrick Parks
Why TMU? “I chose Truett because I love how it is small and Christian.  It felt like home when I visited and honestly just seemed like the perfect fit for me.”
Coach Corbin on Parks: “Haley is a go getter and isn’t afraid to sacrifice her body. Her all out hustle and ability to read the court will help her jump into things quickly.  She has played as a defensive player for both her high school and club teams and has been a huge part of their success.  I look forward to seeing how she carries things over to the college level.”
Jordan Roberts
Rome, GA
Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker
Coosa High School/Rome Tsunami Volleyball Club
Parents: Jarrod & Tiffany Roberts
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because I loved the community and the environment.  It has a super welcoming feel to it and it seems like all of the students love being there. I also had a really great time practicing with the team and already love it there.
Coach Corbin on Roberts: “Although Jordan isn’t always the tallest player on the court you wouldn’t know by the way she plays at the net.  She has the ability to put the ball away, but knows when and where to place the ball to earn points.  Her experience at the outside hitter and middle blocker positions will help make both our offense and defense at the net even better.  I believe that Jordan’s potential is huge and I look forward to watching her grow even more this next year.”
Sonya Silecky
Dacula, GA
Outside Hitter/Defensive Specialist
Mill Creek High School/Atlanta Extreme Volleyball Club
Parents: Jurij & Christine Silecky
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because when I first visited campus I loved everyone I met especially the girls on the team.  I like the small campus feel and thought the location of campus was really pretty.”
Coach Corbin on Silecky: “Sonya should help make an immediate impact on the court.  She comes to TMU with many individual athletic honors from her high school career, as well as. being named a scholar athlete all four years of high school.  Having played 6-rotations in both high school and club she brings a wide range of skill to our team.  Sonya is one of the most well-rounded players I have seen coming out of high school.  She is a leader on both her high school and club teams and we look forward to that carrying over into her college career.”
Julia Sprague
Cleveland, GA
Outside Hitter
Lanier Christian Academy/Lanier Volleyball Club
Parents: Dan & Brenna Rogers
Why TMU? “I love the positive atmosphere at TMU and everyone is son encouraging.  It is close to home and I love how it is a Christian school.”
Coach Corbin on Sprague: “Julia is no stranger to Truett McConnell as she has grown up in Cleveland.  She has had the privilege to be around our players for several years and has learned a lot from them.  She plays at the outside position where she has seen tremendous growth this past year.  She is getting better every day and learning to make better decisions on a consistent basis.”
Cheyanne Tilson
Blue Ridge, GA
Outside Hitter
Fannin County High School/North Georgia Volleyball Club
Parent: Lola Tilson
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because I loved the campus and the team.  TMU felt like home and a great fit for me!”
Coach Corbin on Tilson: “Cheyenne comes to us with several years of both high school and club experience.  She has led her teams from the outside hitter position.  When she attended one of our high school showcases, Cheyenne showed her ability to hit a hard ball consistently. She also showed her great attitude and team spirit.  Everything she does is for her team.  I feel that Cheyenne will be a great fit for our program and will continue to get better during her college career.”
Haley Vega
Acworth, GA
Libero/Defensive Specialist
The King’s Academy/Georgia Elite Volleyball Club
Business Marketing
Why TMU? “I chose TMU because I respect and agree with TMU’s Christian values that they not only state, but actively live out.  I also wanted an education that had Christian principles and prepared me for the years to come and I feel like TMU will help me maintain a Christian worldview even after college.”
Coach Corbin on Vega: “Haley has a big desire to grow her relationship with Christ and Truett will be a great fit for her to do that.  As much as she desire to grow in her Christian walk, she desires just as much to grow in the sport of volleyball.  She brings confidence and the ability to pass consistently that will help us run a smooth and quick offense.”
Katie Williamson
Carrollton, GA
Outside Hitter/Right Side
Central High School/West Georgia Volleyball Academy
Parent: Kelly Williamson
Why TMU? “I chose TMU for their focus on Christ and for the amazing group of girls they have on their team.”
Coach Corbin on Williamson: “Katie is another player who shows great potential.  Her ability to play six rotations is not something that every player is capable of.  Katie’s intangibles are huge to her growth and I look forward to her bringing those qualities to our team.”