Cleveland State Volleyball is excited to welcome five freshmen to its 2020 roster. Head volleyball coach Alizabeth Atnip looks forward to seeing what this recruiting class can contribute in her second season at the helm.

“Our recruiting class of 2020 promises to be dynamic on all levels,” Atnip said. “We have a well-rounded group of players incoming and I expect them to make a big impact. The talent level equals the motivation. Every athlete shows such passion for the sport of volleyball. Each girl has the desire and fire that we look for in our program.

"I’m thrilled to see these players develop as this team flourishes.”

Grace Wiggins is an outside hitter from Madisonville, Tennessee, and a graduate of Sequoyah High School. In her time playing for the Lady Chiefs, she was named All-District all four years of high school and also won multiple Most Valuable Player awards.

A fun fact about Wiggins is that she coached the county’s first ever middle school volleyball team.

“I am very excited to play at Cleveland State, because it gives me the chance to not only continue my academics, but to play a sport that I love,” Wiggins said.

Wiggins’ coach at Sequoyah High School, Rebekah Monhollen, spoke highly of her talent and character.

“Grace is a player who knows the ins and outs of the game and is able to adapt as needed for the best for her team,” Monhollen said. “She has dealt with injuries, but has always worked hard to come back strong. I am excited to see her play at a higher level of competition as I know it will push her to her best ability.”

Wiggins’ coach at Victory Volleyball Academy, Scott Leamon, also spoke highly of her contributions to his team.

“Grace was respectful and willing to listen to new coaching concepts and always gave 100%,” Leamon said. “She always asked and was willing to take on new position assignments. I believe that she has a lot of upside. In addition to playing, she helps to coach a young team and might have the bug to continue with that in the future.

“Combining this with her outstanding grades, I think she will be a welcome addition to both team and college.”

Madison Miner is a defensive specialist and libero from Madisonville, Tennessee, and she is a Sequoyah High School graduate. In her time playing for the Lady Chiefs, she earned First Team All-District and All-County honors and was also named Defensive Player of the Year.

“I am excited about playing volleyball at Cleveland State and to experience the feel of college athletics,” Miner said. “I will gain so many friendships and lessons to help me in life. Signing with Cleveland State means I have the opportunity to continue to play the sport I love and get an education that most people cannot receive.

"I cannot wait to give it my all for Cleveland State.”

Monhollen expressed that the grit and toughness Miner brings will help the Lady Cougars.

“I had the opportunity to coach Madison for two years and am so proud of her growth in the sport of volleyball in those two seasons,” Monhollen said. “She is not afraid to hit the floor and run through walls while going after a ball. She was able to find her spot on the team leading the back row defense while still utilizing her powerhouse strength in back row attacks.

“I am so excited to see how she continues to progress at a higher level of play.”

Leamon, who coached Miner as well at Victory Volleyball Academy, also spoke highly of her character and effort on-and-off the court.

“Madison is coachable and I think she has lots of potential,” Leamon said. “One thing that always comes to my mind is her almost immediate response to anything that was asked of her in terms of team-related tasks. She also has excellent grades and I believe she will be a welcome addition to both team and school.”

You can catch all of these exciting new Lady Cougars this fall as volleyball takes the court. Stay tuned to cscougars.com for more information on the 2020 volleyball season.

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