Tennessee volleyball head coach Rob Patrick announced the addition of five players who will join the program next season.
The new class of incoming freshmen includes: Callie Williams (S, Waco, Texas), Keyton Kinley (DS/L, Lexington, Ky.), Olivia Schwamberger (MH, Cincinnati, Ohio), Madison Coulter (OH, Maryville, Tennessee) and Gabby Peitsch (Ellicott City, Maryland).
“Our 2017 recruiting class is highlighted by competitiveness and fiery personalities,” Patrick said. “Many of these young ladies are coming from winning programs in their high school and club careers. They will help continue the upward trend that our program is on right now. This group also continues the process of us bringing in players with high volleyball IQs.”
Here’s a look at the newest members of the Tennessee volleyball program:
Callie Williams (Waco, Texas)
Callie Williams, a 5-foot-9 setter, comes to the Vols from Waco, Texas. The first-team Under Armour All-American attends Midway High School and is a member of the Dallas Skyline Juniors.
Williams currently attends Midway High School, where she led the team to a 42-4 record and averaged 12.2 assists per set. Prior to attending Midway, she helped lead Bishop Lynch High School to three consecutive Texas high school state titles (2013, 2014, 2015). She was named to the 2015 all-tournament team and was on the all-district team four times.
Off the court, she plans to major in kinesiology and to eventually enter the medial field as a nurse. She is an honor roll student who has worked with Habitat for Humanity.
Williams on choosing Tennessee: “I fell in love with the university the moment I visited, and I just knew this was going to be my home for the next four years.”
Patrick says: “Callie Williams is a winner. I think it’s very important to have someone who knows how to win at that setter/quarterback position based on the success she has had winning multiple state high school and club championships. She is experienced beyond her years and has a positive impact in all phases of her game — serving, passing, setting and defense.”
Keyton Kinley (Lexington, Ky.)
Keyton Kinley, a 5-foot-6 defensive specialist, hails from Lexington, Kentucky, and attends Lafayette Senior High School. In club volleyball, she competes with Lexington United.
On the court, Kinley is a two-time team MVP and has been named to Prep Volleyball’s Defensive Dandies list the last two years. In club competition, she was on Prep Volleyball’s Senior Aces list and an All-American selection.
She is very active in her local community, volunteering at Hope Center and Salvation Army during the holidays and helping with special education classes at an elementary school.
Kinley on choosing Tennessee: “Every part of UT is family. From coaches to tutors, to athletic directors, and teammates. Everyone makes sure you are comfortable, and the fan base is extraordinary. UT is home.”
Patrick says: “Keyton has the heart of a lion. She is gritty and competitive. She is an impact player, someone who can change the course of a match through her play at libero. She may be one of the most accomplished defensive players who has come here as a freshman.”
Olivia Schwamberger (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Olivia Schwamberger, a 6-foot-3 middle hitter, attends Anderson High School and competes with the NKYVC club team.
Swamberger has been named first-team all-conference the last three years and was second-team all-city in 2015 and 2016. She has been on the Under Armour Watchlist and Prep Volleyball’s Senior Aces. She holds the Anderson High School records in career blocks (264), blocks in a season (107), kills in a season (289) and season attack percentage (.382).
Her NKYVC team won a 2016 national title at Indianapolis.
In addition to volleyball, Schwamberger is very at her high school, participating in debate club, the Science Olympiad, peer counseling with younger students, National Honors Society and the Spanish National Honors Society. She has earned numerous academic awards.
She plans to major in biology at Tennessee and pursue an eventual career as a neurologist or neurosurgeon.
Schwamberger on choosing Tennessee: “I chose to attend the University of Tennessee from a combination of the great volleyball program and the academic opportunities it offers. The coaches and players on the volleyball team create an atmosphere anyone would want to be a part of as well as competing at a very high level for college volleyball. The academic support for athletes is unparalleled.”
Patrick says: “Olivia really brings a tremendous amount of athleticism to the team. We’re excited about her ability to block and defend at a high level already. She can attack the ball in front of the setter and behind the setter on one foot. Her versatility offensively will help us early in her career.”
Madison Coulter (Maryville, Tenn.)
From nearby Maryville, Tennessee, Madison Coulter is a 5-foot-11 outside hitter who attends Maryville High School and competes with the K2 club.
Coulter was a team captain and all-district selection for Maryville High School. As a senior she was named the Blount County MVP and hitter of the year.
She joins the Vols as a multi-sport athlete, having also played basketball for three years. She served as team captain and earned all-district honors three times, reaching 1,000 career points as a junior. Additionally, she competed in track and field for one year and also has participated in the Maryville Chamber Orchestra.
She plans to major in political science at Tennessee and would like to pursue humanitarian work in sub-Saharan Africa.
Coulter on choosing Tennessee: “I’ve grown up loving Tennessee and being proud of the state I live in. I am beyond fortunate to say that I get to represent the great state that raised me. As a little girl, I never missed a football or Lady Vol basketball game, and to know that my childhood dreams are coming to fruition is really something special.”
Patrick says: “We’re excited to have such a talented homegrown player join our program. Madison is a very skilled player as her back row skills are advanced as her attacking skills at the net. She will be looking to compete as a six-row rotation right side/outside position.”
Gabby Peitsch (Ellicott City, Md.)
Gabby Peitsch, a 6-foot-2 middle hitter, attends Marriotts Ridge High School and competes as a member of the Metro Volleyball Club.
Peitsch has been a member of the Marriotts Ridge volleyball team the last four years, serving as a team captain as a senior. She was named first-team All-Howard County and the Team Impact Player of the Year in 2015 and was a first-team McDonough all-tournament team selection in 2016.
She plans to major in accounting at Tennessee and would like to pursue a career in the sports industry.
Peitsch on choosing Tennessee: “During my first visit to the University of Tennessee, I knew it was a great fit for me. I can see myself relating well with the volleyball players and coaches. The campus spirit and culture is awesome.”
Patrick says: “Gabby is an athletic, versatile player who we can’t wait to get in the gym and find her best position. Her ability to play most of the front row positions makes her a very valuable addition to our team, especially with the athleticism she possesses.”