COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- New Tennessee Tech volleyball head coach Dave Zelenock announced the addition of two student-athletes Tuesday, adding setter Sharon Anderson and outside hitter Rachel Travis to the squad for the 2013 season.
"As my first class at Tech, I believe we're bringing in quality players," Zelenock said. "Previously, every class I've brought in has been nationally ranked and I think beginning with these student-athletes, we can bring Tech to that level. This is a really good class, especially with the time crunch we were placed in. We're lucky to get this caliber of setter in Sharon and a local outside hitter with an amazing pedigree to come this late in the game. We have very high hopes for both players."
5-9, Setter, Burr Ridge, Ill.
Hindsdale South HS / 1st Alliance VBC
Sharon Anderson signed her National Letter of Intent Wednesday, April 9. Anderson is an impact player, and as the setter has led her team verociously on both the high school and club levels.
"I chose Tech because it was the best fit for me," Anderson said. "I loved the campus and believe in the vision that Coach Zelenock has for the program."
The setter is a four-time West Suburban All-Conference Selection. She was recognized as a Top 50 Chicago Volleyball Player in 2011, and was on the USA PrepVolleyball Sophomore 79 Elite List in 2010. She led her team to the AAU 16-Open National Championship and has racked-up several All-Tournament honors throughout her career.
"I hope to have an immediate and positive impact on the program. I hope to bond very quickly with my teammates and be a leader on the court. As a setter, I am a vocal leader who is in constant communication with everyone on the court. I am very competitive and play with a high intensity level to help give my team the best chance to win," she said.
As a four year-starter, Anderson helped her team to a 110-44 high school record. During her time at Hinsdale South her team won the West Suburban Gold Conference Championship four times, the Regional Championship during her sophomore and senior seasons, and the Sectional Championship in 2010.
"I am looking forward to being able to continue to play volleyball for the next four years while representing TTU. I can't wait to get to know my teammates, travel, and play volleyball while getting a great education," she said.
Anderson finished her high school career with 3,215 assists (20.8 per game) and 424 digs (2.75 per game).
Anderson is in the National Honor Society, a Hornet Scholar and has been a member of the Dean's list for four years. She has not determined her major at Tech and is undecided on her intended career path.
Zelenock on Anderson:
"Sharon's played for a great club for years. She's gained valuable experience at a high level of play and this past year she was the tournament MVP at the President's Day Tournament in Chicago, one of the premiere tournaments in the country. Sharon brings a lot of depth and skill at the setting position and she's going to compete directly with Ashleigh Hancock. It's going to be a tough battle in the fall but we're going to rely on Sharon to push the entire team to more aggressive play at the net."
5-11, Outside Hitter, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Baylor School / Ocoee Heat VBC
Rachel Travis has several ties to Tennessee Tech, which helped her decision to be a Golden Eagle. Travis signed a commitment letter to Tennesse Tech Thursday, April 18. Travis is a five-year starter for Baylor School in Chattanooga and holds the records for the most kills and digs by any Baylor player.
"When considering my future, and the choices I had, I knew that Tennessee Tech would be the best fit for me," Travis said. "Tech offers exceptional opportunities for me both athletically and academically."
Travis has been recognized as all-region, TSWA all-state and the Times-Free Press Best of Preps Team each of her five years as a starter for Baylor. She was named on the USA PrepVolleyball Freshman 59 and Sophomore 79 Elite List and was invited to the USA Volleyball High Performance camps at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. USA Volleyball also invited Travis to camps in San Diego for sand training.
"I am very anxious about having the opportunity to apply my skills at the next level. I am looking forward to starting the next chapter in my life, and even more excited to be doing it at Tennessee Tech," she said.
Travis made four trips to the state tournament and helped her team to three third place finishes and one state-runner up finish.
Travis finished her career with 1963 kills, 1728 digs and 304 aces.
Zelenock on Travis:
"Rachel has a big arm and an even bigger personality. She's very athletic and she fits right into what we're trying to build the team into. She's the perfect example of high athleticism and high character. Rachel has the right mentality, and has the ability to contribute on day one."