Flora Finalizes 2012 Roster With Five Preferred Walk-ons|
Don Flora announced the addition of five preferred walk-ons for the 2012 season Friday.
June 1, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech volleyball coach Don Flora finalized his 2012 roster Friday with the addition of five preferred freshman walk-ons who will join the program this fall.
The group consists of Ellen Sorrells, Emily Wright, Lydia McKay, Whitney Ford and Meredith Rankin, giving Tech 11 total newcomers, including 10 freshmen, for the 2012 season.
"We as a staff were very excited that these five athletes chose to attend Texas Tech and join our program," Flora said. "They are all extremely talented athletes who should help us continue to raise the athleticism and talent in the gym each and every day."
All five hail from the state of Texas, including three from the Houston region in McKay, Rankin and Wright. Sorrells and Ford, meanwhile, come from the Dallas/Fort Worth and East Texas areas, respectively.
Ford arrives at Tech after a successful career at Pine Tree High School where she was a 2011 Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) all-state selection as well as a two-time all-district pick. The Longview native will add additional size for Tech on the right side as her 6-4 height marks the tallest on the Tech roster.
"Whitney is a tremendous addition to the physical side of our future," Flora said. "She brings a strong front-court presence and quality volleyball knowledge to her position and to the game. We believe that she has the traits to develop into an elite blocker and attacker."
The lone true middle blocker among the walk-ons, McKay will also boost Tech's strength in the middle as the Katy native was the district 19-5A MVP in 2011. After leading Katy High School to the regional quarterfinals a year ago, McKay was selected to play on the east squad in this summer's TGCA All-Star match.
"Lydia has shown development each time we have watched her compete and play over the past year," Flora said. "She has a complete set of skills for the middle position and has great knowledge of her position. We believe that she has the traits to develop into an elite blocker and attacker."
One of the top prep athletes in the Houston area, Rankin comes to Tech after a strong senior season at Kingwood High School where defensive specialist/outside hitter earned all-state and All-Greater Houston team honors. Like McKay, she will also play on the east squad in the TGCA All-Star match this summer.
"Meredith has all the traits of an elite six-rotation outside hitter," Flora said. "We believe that she has the attributes to develop into an outstanding attacker. Her commitment to becoming a Red Raider will help push all of her teammates in the gym every day."
The addition of Sorrells brings a wealth of success from the private-school ranks as the North Richland Hills native helped lead Fort Worth Christian to the TAPPS 4A state title as a senior after falling a match shy of the crown the year before. She was a first-team all-state pick in both of her final two seasons while earning a selection to the state all-tournament team both years as well. Sorrells was a two-time first team all-district pick and was also named the district MVP following her senior season.
"Ellen brings a wide array of experience and a high-quality volleyball skill set," Flora said. "Her presence and court demeanor make her a tremendous fit within the culture that Texas Tech prides itself on in the gym. Her court skills and passing acumen make her a positive addition to our receivers."
Wright, meanwhile, gives Tech another athletic option on the back row as the Cypress native will see time as a defensive specialist and outside hitter. Another 2011 all-state pick, Wright finished among the top players in Cy-Fair High School history in both kills and aces en route to earning top player accolades from both the GHVCA and Vype Magazine.
"Emily adds a valuable component to the way we compete every day in training and in matches," Flora said. "She brings a drive that will help this program continue to reach elite status on the national scene. Her volleyball IQ is something that will compliment her competitive drive and she has valuable back-court skills that will allow her to raise the standards each day in the gym."
The Red Raiders report for the season Aug. 7 in preparation for their Aug. 24 season opener at the Boston College Tournament.