The Savannah State Lady Tiger volleyball program announced the official signing of four new recruits ahead of the program’s 29th season. During the 2014 off season, twoyear interim head coach Jolanta Graham was hired as the permanent head coach for Savannah State women’s volleyball.
Graham lost five of her letterman last year to graduation and matriculation. In the vacancy, she has added four recruits, and five walk-ons to the six returners. Graham’s top recruit comes to Savannah from Mansfield, Ohio. Elexius Harris, a 5-9 outside hitter/ middle hitter will help to fill the gap left by departing senior Bryana Gadis.
Harris, a graduate of Mansfield Senior High School, played in 72 games in her senior year. She concluded the season with 24 aces, a .442 attack percentage, 221 kills, 65 blocks and 194 digs. Harris was the team’s MVP, a two-year Junior Olympics Gold Medalist, and won the Pete Henry Ward for Top Female Athlete.
Durham, North Carolina native Zariya Thomas will also help as an outside hitter. The 5-11 true freshman comes to Savannah State from Riverside High School. She finished up her senior year with 489 kills, 30 blocks, 178 digs, and 28 aces. She was named to the All-Conference team and was the 2013 MVP.
True freshman Autumn Session joins the Lady Tigers as a middle hitter. The 6-0, Baltimore, Maryland native joins the Lady Tigers from Riverwood International Charter School. In the 2012 and 2013 seasons, she was named most improved player. Session also earned the Best Blocker award in her final year.
Rounding out the class is setter Lynae Bryant. The 5-8, Murrieta, California native is a graduate of Vista Murrieta High School. Bryant will assist returning setter Caitlynn Masoe.
Also joining the 2014 SSU squad are walkons Olivia Wasdon (defensive specialist/libero), Vanessa Foster (setter), Miyah Davis (outside hitter/ right side hitter), Kayla Glover (outside hitter), and Zakiya Barnes (defensive specialist). Graham took over duties as the interim head coach midway through the 2012 season. She was named the permanent head coach in early 2014.
During her two years as interim head coach, Graham slowly began to build a stronger program. She culminated her progress with the program’s first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) win in the final game of the 2013 season.
The 3-1 win over North Carolina Central broke a 91-match losing streak for the program that dated back to 2010.