Posted Aug 23, 2004 16:02:49
Shipp, Hayes Lead the Way at Outside Hitter for Tech
RUSTON, La. – The graduation of Cristine Sant’Anna left Louisiana Tech with some big shoes to fill at outsider hitter but several players are progressing very well in preparation for the season opener on September 1st.
“I am very pleased with where we are at outside hitter,’ said Tech head volleyball coach Heather Mazeitis. “The plan is for our middle blockers to be dominant which will take some pressure off the outside hitters and make hitting a little bit easier.”
Sophomore Ambra Hayes moved into the starting lineup at the midway point of the WAC schedule a year ago and looks to build upon a solid freshman campaign
“Ambra has become a very smart hitter with very good attack selection,” Mazeitis said.
The Arlington, Texas native tallied 157 kills a year ago.
2002 starter Natalie Shipp is back after missing last year with an injury. Shipp recorded 278 kills two years ago for the Lady Techsters and is one of the team’s tri-captain as voted on by the squad.
“Natalie is hitting the ball really hard and doing very well coming off her injury,” Mazeitis said. “She is still having a little trouble passing but is coming along very well.”
Stacey Clark is one the Lady Techsters better defenders and will be looked to play an ever bigger role this season.
”Clark is one of our quicker player especially on defense,” Mazeitis added. “Stacy is playing very smart and it is very good for us when she is on the court.”
Kristen Fairbanks and Erin Dillie will also see time at outside hitter for Tech this year as well.
Fairbanks is a sophomore while Dillie is a redshirt freshman.
Fairbanks is primarily working at middle blocker but will also see time at outside hitter.
“I am very pleased with how Fairbanks is practicing so far,” Mazeitis said. “I expect some very good things out of Kristen this season if she can stay healthy.”
Dillie is seeing the most action at setter after being moved there from outside hitter in the spring but will also see time at hitter during the season.
“I am very pleased with the way Erin is coming along at setter since that is where she is getting the most work at in preseason,” Mazeitis. “She came here as an outside and will likely see a good bit of action there as well.”
Tech opens the season on September 1st when the Lady Techsters host Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m.