NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- Tennessee State volleyball announced the addition of five student-athletes for the 2017 season. Rachel Henderson (Fort Worth, Texas), Hinalei Fihaki (Taylorsville, Utah), Mine Cetinoz (Instanbul, Turkey) and Sydney Swann (Blythewood, South Carolina) all inked National Letters of Intent with the Tigers on Wednesday while Maureen Nwozo (Nashville, Tennessee) will join the team as a preferred walk-on.
Three of the signees will be junior college transfers; while Swann and Nwozo come in from their respective high schools.
“Tiger Volleyball is extremely excited to announce our spring 2017 signing class,” Head Coach Donika Sutton stated. “We have four signees and one additional student-athlete joining the team. This signing class brings a wealth of experience with three of the four signees being junior college transfers. All three come from well-respected programs and understand what it means to compete. I expect them to immediately make an impact, add leadership and bring a competitive spirit this fall. Our freshman signee is a six rotation outside hitter who will bring youth, ball control and depth to the floor. The last addition to the team is a player I believe will grow into an impact player in the front row and is a Nashville native. We are thrilled to welcome them all to Tiger Volleyball. I am confident that the additions of these student-athletes combined with the current players on our roster will make us an exciting team to watch.”
Henderson comes from Panola Junior College. At Panola, Henderson helped her team achieve a national number one ranking for three consecutive weeks, and helped the Fillies finish 7th nationally in the final NJCAA rankings. She registered 299 kills while posting a .320 hitting percentage. Defensively, Henderson tallied 31 solo blocks and 105 block assists.
Fihaki and Cetinoz decided to continue their playing careers together as both join the Tiger family coming from Hutchinson Community College. As teammates, they helped lead the Blue Dragons to a 25-12 record and a 14-2 conference mark. Fihaki was a force in the middle as she was a first team All-conference selection posting 174 kills while registering a hitting clip of .336. She also contributed 15 solo blocks and 121 block assists. Cetinoz was all over the court, as she was announced to the All-Jayhawk West Region Second-Team. The starting libero for Hutchinson racked up 508 digs and 22 service aces.
Swann was a volleyball team captain for three years at her high school. During her tenure at Blythewood, Swann played multiple positions and proved to be a valuable asset to her team. She was selected to the North-South 5A All-Star South Carolina Volleyball Team in 2016.
The last addition to the roster is a Nashville native that attended Overton High School. Nwozo was honored for her play as she was named to the District 12 AAA All-District team as a senior. During her senior season she helped the Bobcats post a 12-2 record in the district during the 2016 season. She will graduate with honors and is part of the National Honor Society.
The signees will enroll in the fall of 2017.