HARTSVILLE S.C.- Coker College head women's volleyball coach Julia Rowland has announced the addition of six new players for the 2018-19 season. The Cobras welcome Emily Everton, Lana Strejcek, Rami Mullen, Olivia Cerick, Caroline Layne, and Gabby Milo to the Coker family.
"I am extremely excited about this signing class," said Rowland. "I believe that this is one of our top classes in recent history, and to say that I have big aspirations for this group would be an understatement. With the foundation this year's team has laid, our core group of returners, and the addition of these players I think Coker women's volleyball is going to be the best it has been in a long time."
Emily Everton is an outside hitter from Byrnes High School, where she was a three-year letterwinner for the Rebels. A 4.0 GPA student and member of Junior Civitans and Health Club, Everton was named to the Region III/5A All-Region team during her senior season. She is also a member of the Upward Stars Upstate club volleyball team. The Moore, S.C. native is the daughter of Kevin and Kim Everton and plans to major in exercise science.
According to Coach Rowland, "I had my eye on Emily when she was just a sophomore and it has been a joy to watch her grow into the player she is now. That being said her potential is sky high and I can't wait to see her grow at Coker. She'll be a force on the outside for us."
Lana Strejcek comes to Coker from William Amos Hough High School, where she is a middle blocker for the Huskies. During her time at William Amos Hough she has been named team MVP, all-conference and was named player of the match five times. Strejcek's career stats include 455 kills, a .627 hitting percentage, 154 total blocks, and 88 service aces. She was a member of the Mock Trial Club volleyball team, and she also played for Carolina Juniors Volleyball team that earned first place in the Queen City Classic and first place in the regional. The Cornelius, N.C. native is the daughter of Sanja and Dubravko Strejcek and plans to major in exercise science.
"I'm really excited about the addition of Lana," said Rowland. "She's a powerful middle with a huge block. She'll bring a new dimension to this team in the middle. Lana has already been playing at a high level over the past couple of years and that will prove invaluable when making the transition to the college game."
Rami Mullen is a setter from Hickory Ridge High School, where she was a two-time team captain for the Bulls. Mullen was an All-Conference selection, was named the South West 4A Player of the Week and ranked first in 4A service aces in N.C. during the 2016 season. She also led her team to the fourth round in the playoffs in 2016. While at Hickory Ridge, she was on the A/B honor roll, is a member of the Beta Club, and Key Club. Mullen also played for the Carolina Union Volleyball Club for three years. The Harrisburg, N.C. resident is the daughter of Jeff and Andrea Mullen and plans to major in sport communication.
According to Coach Rowland, "I'm over the moon that Rami chose to be a Cobra. She's got beautiful hands, is smart with her setting decisions, and is one of the hardest workers out there. She is constantly striving to be better. She'll be a great leader and push her teammates to new heights."
Olivia Cerick is a outside hitter from Huntersville, N.C. where she played for the William Amos Hough High School Huskies. She earned all-conference honors, was the recipient of the 2017 Husky Award and received multiple player of game honors during her time with the Huskies. Cerick is a member of DECA and the yearbook committee. She played for Carolina Union Volleyball Club. The daughter of Jennifer and Michael Cerick, she plans to major in exercise science.
"Olivia is one of the most well rounded players we've been able to get here," said Rowland. "She's played almost every position on the court and will be someone that we can put anywhere. She has experience as an outside, right side, middle, and libero."
Caroline Layne, a middle blocker, comes to Coker from Spartanburg, S.C. where she was a four-year letter winner and co-captain for the Spartanburg High School Vikings. She was named Most Valuable Offensive Player, was a Spartanburg Herald-Journal All-Academic Volleyball Team selection, and a Region III 5A All-Region selection. During her senior year, Layne had 251 kills, a .391 hitting percentage, 82 solo blocks, and 33 aces. She is a member of the Beta Club, National Honors Society, and the "A" Honor Roll. She received the Foreign Language (Spanish) GPA Award, is an AP Scholar with Honor, and a Palmetto Fellow. Layne was a part of the Anchor Club, Envirothon Team, Orchestra (Chamber and Quintet), Mu Alpha Theta, Yoga Club, and Junior Leadership of Spartanburg. She also played for Upward Stars 17 Kara Premier and was named an AAU Volleyball Academic All-American. The daughter of Ashley and James Stephen Layne plans to major in biology.
According to Coach Rowland, "We are very excited to have Caroline join us. She has tons of potential and continues to get better every time she steps on the court. I've never seen anyone improve at the rate she has on the court. I think she's going to surprise a lot of people when she gets here."
Gabby Milo, is a libero from Ashley Ridge High School, where she was a two-sport athlete for the Swamp Foxes playing volleyball and soccer. Milo's accomplishments include being a three-time Region 8AAAAA All-Region and Best Defense selection, earning All-State honors in 2014, being a four-time All-Tournament pick, and racked up 18 digs per match. She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Debate Club, Student Government, and honor roll. Milo also played for the Carolina Islanders, Sun City Extreme, and Sandhills Volleyball Club, and was named to the 2016-17 Watch List. The Summerville, S.C. native is the daughter of Ben and Lindsay Milo, and she plans to major in exercise science.
When asked about Milo, Rowland said, "Gabby is one of those players that I knew would be a Cobra from the day I met her. She's a dynamic defensive player and someone who will take our defense to a new level. She is not only a great volleyball player, but a phenomenal young lady that we are excited to have join us in January."
The Navy and Gold look to add to their roster with these new signees, after losing five seniors to graduation. They will return 11 players in 2018-19, including All-SAC selection Taylor du Bray.