The Commerce Journal

November 20, 2012

Lions announce three signings for volleyball program

A&M-COMMERCE SPORTS
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Texas A&M University-Commerce head volleyball coach Craig Case today announced three additions to the Lion volleyball program beginning in 2013. Taryn Driver, Emily Schaffer and Lindsey Wheeler have signed National Letters of Intent and will suit up for the Lions beginning next summer.

“We’re very excited about the three young ladies we’re bringing into our program,” said Case. “All three help provide depth at a variety of positions and like everyone else on our roster they are all able to play more than one position.  Most importantly, they are good people, good students, and will be good representatives of our program, athletic department, and university.  I’ve spoken to each of them individually about the success we’ve had this season and have impressed upon them that we need to continue to get better and they are going to be pivotal in our success next fall and we will be expecting big things from these three from the get-go.”

• Driver is a 5-10 middle blocker from Montgomery and is a three year letterwinner for the Bears. She is a first team All-District selection, leading district 18-4A in blocks while finishing third as a junior. Serving as team captain, Driver helped lead Montgomery to the playoffs and was a three-time Academic All-District selection.

“I’m really excited about Taryn’s speed and explosiveness,” Case said. “She plays at a gear most other players are not playing at and that is important for us to add to our lineup.  With her speed and athleticism she has the potential to make a strong impact immediately. She has strong poise, a great head on her shoulders, and we excited for her to bring all of her on-court and off-court attributes to our program.”

• Schaffer is a 5-10 setter from Denison who recorded over 500 kills, 50 blocks and nearly 300 assists as a senior. A first team All-District selection, she helped lead the Yellow Jackets to the 2010 bi-district championship. Schaffer’s best match included a 32-kill, 16-assist performance as she is a two-time Academic All-District selection.

“We’re very lucky to be adding Emily to our roster,” said Case. “Physically, Emily has the potential to be a really good fit on our team.  While she was a middle hitter and setter in high school we’ll be focusing on Emily’s setter training.  With her height and ability to contact the ball high she can help us maintain our offensive speed if not find a way to speed it up.”

• Wheeler is a 5-11 middle blocker from Rockwall who helped lead the Yellow Jackets to the area finals in 2012. She posted nearly 250 kills as a senior, including 11 kills and a .529 hitting percentage in the area final match against Pearce. Wheeler was a first-team All-District selection as a senior after being named honorable mention following her junior season.

“Lindsey fits right in with our team physically,” Case said. “We like long and athletic players and we feel like Lindsey will fit into that category.  With her length and athleticism it could really help her learn and function within our systems really well. She’ll compete for two different positions and I’m excited to see how she’ll fare in those two opportunities.”

A&M-Commerce is coming off one of its best seasons in recent history, reaching the 20-win plateau and earning the five seed in the 2012 Lone Star Conference Volleyball Championships. The Lions will return all but one starter heading into 2013, including three-time LSC second team setter Jordan Neal and 2012 honorable mention middle blocker Breanne Snyder.