On November 30th, curtains closed on the volleyball season. This represented another improvement for coach Graystone and the team, as the Red Raiders saw their conference record getting better for the third year in a row.
This should be a period of silence and inactivity, but a couple of news emerged in the last days:
- Former outside hitter Emily Hill found her first professional team, as she signed with Sweden’s Hylte/Halmstad Volley in early January. Hill was one of the standout players for the Red Raiders in 2019, and she was named an AVCA All-Region selection.
She originally committed to Mississippi State but transferred to Texas Tech after her freshman season.
Hylte/Halmstad Volley plays in the Swedish professional league and currently sits in fourth place. Hill already made her debut, and she was one of the best players in her team’s victory over Lindesberg
- With for seniors graduating, coach Graystone is already working on his next recruiting class. That said, he also focused on landing two transfers who will immediately impact the team.
On January 2nd, the Red Raiders announced the signing of junior transfer Samantha Sanders. She played for three seasons at Texas A&M, and she’s an outside hitter. She played with consistency in her three years in College Station and she will bring experience to a very young team.
A few days later, coach Graystone also announced the signing of outside hitter Reagan Cooper out of Washington State. Cooper will be eligible to play in 2020.
Reagan, a Texas native, was a standout in high school but decided to move north. After only one year she returns to her birth state. Quoting from her bio:
“Cooper competed as a three-year letter winner at Parish Episcopal School of Dallas. As a senior, the Texas native picked up First Team All-District and First Team All-State honors while she earned the TAPPS 2-6A Offensive Player of the Year laurels. Cooper was named an AVCA Under Armour All-American Honorable Mention selection after leaving with the most kills in TAPPS District 2-6A.”
Cooper and Sanders join the recruiting class as the new faces of the program. We’ll talk about our promising freshmen in the next days.
- The team saw a couple of important changes also in the coaching staff.
The first was the hiring of assistant coach Jon Wong. Reading his bio, we can immediately understand why Wong is an appreciated coach and why coach Graystone wanted to hire him.
Wong is an experienced coach, who served as an assistant coach for different US National teams and developed many talented players. He’s also known as a great recruiter, and his connections with Florida could represent a new “market” for Texas Tech.
The team also announced a new director of operations in Damaris Linker. She comes from Ohio and will cover the same position she held for Ohio University and Ole Miss in the previous years.