November 27, 2013
Tech adds four to roster for 2014
Volleyball signs Coundourides, Lanktree, Mitchell and Payne

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech head volleyball coach Chris Riley has announced the signing of Kyra Coundourides, Briana Lanktree, Rhegan Mitchell and Clara Payne to national letters of intent for the 2014-15 academic year.

“We’re excited about the whole class," Riley said. "We think that they compliment our 2013 class tremendously and that the future for Virginia Tech volleyball is going to be very bright.”

A 5-10 setter from Cleveland, Ohio, Coundourides is a four-time All-Ohio honoree and earned First Team All-District honors all four years. She is tabbed as a PrepVolleyball Top-100 Senior Ace and earned UnderArmour All-America Honorable Mention honors this season. In addition, Coundourides was named the Akron Touchdown Club Player of the year three times and is a was tabbed Cleveland Best of the Best two times during her career while playing for Walsh Jesuit High School. On the club level, Coundourides competed for AVC and helped the team to a UVA National Championship Runner-Up and five appearances in the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships.

Lanktree is a 5-10 outside hitter from Redondo Beach, Calif. While playing for Redondo Union High School, Lanktree helped the team to a national ranking of 31st and a state ranking of 4th this season. In addition, Redondo Union advanced to the California Interscholastic Federation finals two times. Lanktree competed on the club scene for Club Troy where she helped the team to a third place finish at the 2012 USAV and was named to the All-Tournament team.

“Briana is a hitter who is going to add some depth to the position that we are needing,” said Riley. She’s a big jumper and will definitely be able to score at the Division I level. We are looking forward to the prospect of what Briana will look like in a few years playing here.”

A 5-9 setter from Atlanta, Ga., Mitchell earned UnderArmour All-America Honorable Mention honors this season. She helped McIntosh High School to a Georgia State title and earned All-State honors all four seasons. Mitchell was tabbed a senior All-Star and was an All-Area honoree. As a member of Club Tsunami, Mitchell helped the team to the USAV Junior National Championships title, earning All-Tournament honors and was named the MVP at the national event.

“We are really excited about Kyra and Rhegan coming in as setters,” Riley stated. “They will add a lot of depth to that position and we’re going to expect big things from them.”

Payne, a 6-2 middle blocker from Sanford, Fla. played for Pine Ridge High School where she helped the team to a District Runner-Up finish. While competing for Top Select club team, Payne earned Player of the Week honors and was tabbed MVP.

“Clara is just a very good blocker, a good attacker,” said Riley. “She’s a big, physical kid that is going to be a much-needed space-eater in the middle for us and will shore up our blocking and our defense.”

Coundourides, Lanktree, Mitchell and Payne will join the Hokies for the 2014 season.

For updates on Virginia Tech volleyball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_VBall).

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