Q&A With Volleyball Coach Lizzy Stemke
Georgia Volleyball

Georgia Volleyball
Aug. 19, 2014

As the Georgia volleyball team prepares for its first preseason scrimmage, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m., in the Ramsey Center, Head Coach Lizzy Stemke sat down to discuss what's in store for the 2014 season.

On the senior class…
“Our 2014 seniors are an extremely united group. They are driven and motivated to lead this team to our highest potential and they are not satisfied with anything but their best. They have been a part of setting new standards for our Bulldog program and they are ready and eager to surpass previously set goals.” 

On the talent returning for the 2013 season…
“We have a core group of returning athletes this season but many will be embracing new roles for the Dawgs this year. It is exciting to see the development of many of our younger players and we believe they are ready for the challenge.”

On her favorite moments from last year…
“There were many highlights from the season last year but two of the most memorable for me will be the win against #15th ranked Kentucky in the Coliseum on ESPN and of course Selection Sunday hearing Georgia being called up for the NCAA for the first time since 2004. Those are both great milestones to reinforce that the program is heading in the right direction and that all of the hard work is paying off.”

On the newcomers…
“We will have some fantastic athleticism joining our roster in 2014. All of our newcomers will provide some versatility of options and each of them is in a position to compete right away for playing opportunities. Devan, Kendall, Maddie and Cassidy are all coming from very competitive backgrounds and they join our group as prepared as any freshman group that we have had in four years.” 

On building off the success from last season…
“We hit a number of our season goals in 2013 but we have a new group with new goals in 2014. Every year we raise the bar with our season expectations and this season will be no different.” 

On the goals for the season…
“Our goals are always centered on the process. We have preseason goals, SEC goals, and NCAA tournament goals. We expect to make the NCAA tournament and put ourselves in position to make a great postseason run.” 

On the nonconference schedule…
“Our non-conference schedule is very important for postseason play, so preseason goals include winning preseason tournaments. We have a great lineup of matches that will expose our team to many different styles of play. This diversity of schedule will give us the opportunity to prepare for a tough SEC schedule.” 

On the SEC schedule…
“The SEC schedule includes playing the top-five ranked SEC teams from 2013 twice. We know the recruiting in the SEC continues to get stronger and so across the board we expect that the competition to be at an even higher level than last year.“ 

On the strengths of the team…
“The biggest and most exciting strength of this team will be the diversity in our offense. We have many players who can score. We also have raised the bar on the expectations and this team is prepared to be gritty in order to gain every inch. The offseason training has been fierce and they have a chip on their shoulder to get out there and prove that they are stronger and more experienced than any other previous years.” 

On the setters…
“Kaylee Kehoe is our returning setter who will bring speed and experience to the floor. Kaylee takes some great, calculated risks on the floor and her connection with our attackers has really come together in the last two seasons. Kendall Kazor is our freshmen setter that brings size and a great volleyball IQ to the game. Although raw, Kendall has a high level of experience and athleticism that will be exciting to see develop. Both setters are winners and their leadership will be crucial for our season.” 

On the attackers…
“We have a great mix of attackers in our lineup this season. We will have some great experience at the front line with Tirah Le’au, Lauren Teknipp, and Jasmine Eatmon whom all saw significant playing time and impressive numbers last season. We will also add to the group some fantastic athleticism and versatility with returning players Megan Spencer, Amanda Dachs, and Desiree McCray all who have been with us for a year or two but will have great opportunities for increased roles in 2014. Also included in that group are freshmen Maddie Lobenstien and Devan Porter who will provide great depth at the pin. Each of these players provides our court with different strengths and will make our offense a hard one to stop.” 

On the middle blockers…
“We continue to get more physical in the middle and we are very excited about the dynamic duo of Jasmine Eatmon, whom gained All SEC freshmen honors in her first year on the court, and the addition of Desiree McCray, whom will have an increased role this coming season. Both middles are incredibly offensive and will bring much experience and physicality defensively.” 

On the defensive specialists…
“Our ball control and grit from our defensive specialists will be exciting to watch this year. Between Gaby Smiley, Elle McCord, and Cassidy Anderson we could see all three of them on the court throughout the year.” 

On playing matches in Stegeman Coliseum this year…
“We have decided to play two midweek matches this year in Stegeman Coliseum. We are hoping to showcase some great SEC matchups to make each an exciting event for our players and fans.” 

On why fans should come out to watch the team…
“This group is the most competitive group we have had here at Georgia and they will fight for the G on their jersey at every point. They are committed to the process and the work that it takes to be great on and off the court. Fans will feel this electricity from the stands and will be back for more!”


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