WMU News

Volleyball Broncos announce 2001 signees

Nov. 10, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University volleyball coach Cathy George announced the signing of three players to National Letters-of-Intent.

Setter Jessica Holly (Menomonee Falls, Wis.), 6-0 middle blocker Shannon Scates (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community West), and 5-11 middle blocker Tinesha Tierney (Algonac, Mich.) have signed letters to attend Western Michigan and play volleyball beginning in the fall of 2001.

"We feel it's an exceptional class," George said. "I feel very good about the talent level and the competitive level of the three student-athletes we signed. They're athletic and aggressive and aware of what it takes to compete at the highest levels."

The 5-9 Holly will give the Broncos depth at the setter position for the 2001 campaign as WMU will lose senior Jen Nowak following the current season. George will again have the luxury of two setters on her team during the 2001 season with Holly and sophomore Ashley Ritter listed at the position.

"Jess is an outstanding hitter and player," George said. "She's capable of hitting, blocking, and setting and plays all facets of the game extremely well. Jess is very experienced and has been playing at a high level for years.

A team captain, Holly earned first team all-state honors as a senior and was a third team all-state selection following her junior year. She is also a two-time all-conference and all-area player and was selected team MVP as a junior. Holly has been named to the all-tournament teams at the Carthage College Invitational as well as the West Bend Sprawl. A member of the Milwaukee Sting club team, she helped her squad to a second place showing at the 1999 national tournament. Holly has started at setter on the varsity team since her freshman season.

WMU added to an already solid corps of middle blockers with the addition of Shannon Scates and Tinesha Tierney.

"Shannon is one of the most competitive players I've ever talked to," the Bronco coach said. "She's extremely aggressive and that will help her make the transition from high school to college. Shannon is a powerful attacker and hits the ball very hard. She is also an aggressive blocker.

"Tinesha is an excellent athlete and has extraordinary jumping ability. She is very explosive and a dominant athlete. Her footspeed is comparable with Angie Sillmon while her jumping ability compares with M'Myia McQuirter."

Scates was an all-conference honorable mention choice in 1999 and was a Big 12 Conference Scholar-Athlete in 1999 and 2000. She earned All-Area Class AA First Team honors following the 2000 season and was named to the second team in 1999. The 2000 team MVP, Scates is a candidate for the 2000 Chicago All-State roster. She has earned three varsity letters in volleyball and is serving as team captain for the current season. Scates has also enjoyed success in track, winning four varsity letters and receiving the Top Field Event Athlete Award in 1999 and 2000. She was a Big 12 Conference Scholar Athlete the last two seasons and was honored as Most Valuable Junior last year. Scates is also a member of the National Honor Society and received the 1998 Presidential Academic Award for outstanding academic achievement. She was also a Gilbert High School Golden Scholar in 1998.

The athletic Tierney has earned letters in volleyball, basketball, and track during her prep career. She was a 2000 Volleyball All-American at the 17 and under nationals in Orlando and was a 1999 Class B All-Area Honorable Mention selection. Tierney was volleyball MVP in 1998-99. She earned Class B All-Area honors in basketball and won the 2000 All-Star Award in the sport as well. Tierney has paced the team in rebounding three years in a row and is currently leading the team in scoring and steals. She has ranked among the high and long jump leaders in track and field and won the 1999 Rookie Runner and McDonalds of Champions Awards.

Western Michigan is currently 18-5 overall, 13-1 in Mid-American Conference play with four regular-season matches remaining. The Broncos play at Toledo on Friday (Nov. 10) and at Central Michigan on Saturday (Nov. 11). WMU wraps up the regular season by hosting league-leading Ball State Nov. 17 and Northern Illinois Nov. 18.

The Broncos will host a match in the first round of the 2000 MAC Volleyball Tournament, Tuesday, Nov. 21, beginning at 7 p.m.

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; geoffrey.brown@wmich.edu

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