Volleyball preview part three - middle blockers

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – With the first match of the season Friday, GoCamels.com continues its preview of Campbell with an in-depth look at the middle blockers. An interview with head coach Greg Goral and senior Lindsey Coats (Dunn, N.C.) discussing the position can be viewed by clicking on the video above.

The Camels' outside hitters are broken down on Tuesday in the next segment of the five-part series.

Campbell opens the campaign against Northern Arizona at the William & Mary Invitational with the first serve on Friday slated for 4:30 p.m. The host Tribe and San Jose St. are on the docket for the Camels on Saturday.

The Hampton Inn of Holly Springs Invitational begins the home schedule on Sept. 6 with matches against N.C. Central and Indiana State. Georgetown faces Campbell to conclude the event on the following afternoon.

2013 Volleyball Preview

Aug. 21 – Season Overview
Aug. 23 – Setters
Aug. 25 – Middle blockers
Aug. 27 – Outside / Right Side Hitters
Aug. 29 – Defensive Specialists

Middle Blockers

The experience of the middles is one of the strengths for the Camels with the athleticism of senior Lindsey Coats (Dunn, N.C. ) and junior Lorin Thomas (Raleigh, N.C.). Freshman Jenny Tait (Ormiston, Australia) at 6-2 is the tallest player on the team and has a bright future for the Camels.

"Lindsey and Lorin provide a tremendous presence in the middle for us," said coach Goral. "They are players that we want to use as primary attackers. Both are shut-down blockers that do a fantastic job of being on time and reading hitters."

Coats paced the Camels offense last year with 225 kills converting at a .278 rate, while providing a big presence at the net by blocking 85 attacks. The Dunn, N.C., native has emerged into a leader on the squad and a role model for the younger players to look up to.

"Lindsey is our speedster," said coach Goral. "She beats opponents with her speed and athleticism. The energy that she provides on the court motivates her teammates. She has matured into one of the hardest workers on the team."

A journeyman that has trained at each position along the front row is Thomas. The Raleigh, N.C., native contributed 140 kills and 46 blocks as a sophomore for the Camels.

"Lorin has excelled rather quickly and blossomed as a middle during the spring," said coach Goral. "She is very competitive and brings a strong physical presence to our front row."

The first challenge for Tait in the preseason was acclimating to the 14 hour time difference from her home country, Australia. She has gained international experience after competing on the Australian youth national team and attending Queensland Academy of Sport.

"Jenny brings a physical presence and ball control skills that will help our front row," said coach Goral. "Being an international player, she has a better understanding of the game. This first year of college is going to be important for her to become quicker and gain strength through training."