Women’s Volleyball, Cross-Country Teams Expand Knights Athletics

Author: Tyler Rosenfield
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017 6:33 PM
Categories: Pressroom | Athletics

Macon, GA

The 2016 fall sports season made history at Middle Georgia State University.

MGA announced a year earlier that it would expand its varsity sports from eight to 10 teams. The two sports chosen were women’s volleyball and cross-country.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Theresa Lasal, one of the top runners for the new cross-country team. “Being part of a team helps me to push limitation barriers, create solid relationships with their peers and participate in a healthy amount of daily activity.”

James Hagler, MGA’s interim athletics director, said, “The addition of the two sports based on the Macon Campus shows the University’s commitment to provide multiple opportunities across multiple campuses for our students to be involved. Especially in the case of the volleyball team, we now have more opportunities for student interaction and another way to draw visitors to the campus.”

Adding two sports allowed more than 30 women to join MGA’s community of student athletes. Both volleyball and cross-country are included in the Southern States Athletic Conference. The sports are good fits for the Macon Campus, which renovated the “old” gym for the volleyball team’s home games.

Orlando Gonzalez is the volleyball team’s first coach. He has more than 25 years of coaching experience.

“Building a program from the ground level is a unique and exciting opportunity,” he said. “We can establish a great culture from the beginning and choose our traditions and standards that lay the foundation for the future generations of Knights volleyball players.”

April Reese, a volleyball team member, said she is grateful she MGA gave her a chance to continue playing a sport she loves at the collegiate level. “I’m extending my playing career while receiving an education,” she said.

Harley Miller, the women’s cross-country coach, said building a team from scratch was challenging but rewarding. “The runners seem to be enjoying being a part of something new, so it’s been worth it,” he said.

2016 Knights Volleyball Roster
Jamie Wilder
Emili Jordan
Tashelle Peigan
Alana Sherman
Danielle Deterding
Liana DeJourdan
Kaley Ratcliff
Jordae Taylor
Jaslynn Gwyn
Kalyn Makimoto
Brooklyn Berrington
Brooklynn Roberts
Dayoni Johnson
April Reese
Clara Delgado
Savannah Grove

Orlando Gonzalez - Head Coach
Cristina Saldana - Assistant Coach

2016 Knights Cross Country Roster
Alyssa Adkins
Mary Esmond
Cheyenne Kelley
Theresa Lasal
Rhodelle Lewis
Kim Warren

Harley Miller – Head Coach
Evan Ayoub – Student Assistant Coach
Gray Lindley - Student Assistant Coach

Originally published in the fall 2016 issue of MGA Today.