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VOLLEYBALL RECEIVES FOUR COMMITMENTS

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Four student-athletes have committed to attend Tusculum College and play volleyball for the Pioneers announced TC head coach Michael Robinson. Joining the Pioneers this fall are Allyson Ray, Taylor Wood, Melanie Gibson and Kendra Tarlton.

Ray, a 6-0 middle blocker from Hudson, Fla., comes to Tusculum after playing the 2007 season at Armstrong Atlantic State University. Ray, who will have one year eligibility left with the Pioneers, led the Pirates in hitting percentage (.256) and kills (333). She appeared in 139 sets where she averaged 2.4 kills per frame, while also leading the team in blocking, averaging 0.88 per set.

Prior to AASU, Ray played two seasons at Pasco-Hernando Community College where she garnered All-Mid Florida Conference distinction and led that squad to a pair of league titles and a No. 10 national ranking in 2005. She averaged 3.45 kills and 1.42 blocks per set in 2006.

"Allyson adds a ton of high level experience to our program and I'm certain she will be an impact player for us both offensively and defensively," said Robinson. "She has competed at two outstanding programs and has had success at both places. Allyson is a quality young lady and we are fortunate to have her joining us this season."

During her prep career at Hudson High School, Ray was a two-time All-Conference honoree and earned All-State First Team accolades during her senior season. During her final prep campaign, Ray established a school record with 321 kills.

Wood, a 5-9 right-side hitter from Atlanta, Ga., recently completed her prep career at North Springs High School. North Springs accomplished a lot during Wood's career, finishing 17th in the State in 2007, including a third place showing in the 6-AAAA Region. Last year, NSHS posted another third place finish in the region, while advancing to the State Tournament Sweet 16.

"I'm excited about the addition of Taylor to the Pioneer family," Robinson added. "She is an outstanding young lady who will give us depth at the Right Side that we haven't had. She brings with her the attitude and moral character we look for in all of our players. Taylor is a great addition and I look forward to seeing her develop over the next four years."

In 2008, Wood was named her team's best blocker, while also serving as co-captain. She is a two-time member of the National Honor Society and is also active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has a strong journalism background, writing for the student newspaper. She has garnered two awards for Best Editorials at the Georgia Scholastic Press Association this past May.

Gibson, a 5-3 libero/defensive specialist from Signal Mountain, Tenn., comes to the Greeneville campus from Red Bank High School. She also played for the Choo Choo Volleyball Club, one of the top squads in Tennessee.

Her Choo Choo club team posted an 18-1 record this past season, while finishing fifth the region.

"Melanie comes to us from one of the top club teams in the State of Tennessee. While playing for Choo Choo, she has been a very solid and consistent player and I look for her to bring that to our program. I'm very excited that Melanie has chosen Tusculum and I believe she will be not only an excellent player for us, but also a tremendous young lady on campus and in our community."

During her prep career at Red Bank, Gibson led her squad on defense with 837 digs and received the Gold Digger Award on a team that finished third in the State, while posting an imp

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