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Wednesday, January 07, 2009Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal has bolstered both his offense and defense for 2009 with the signing of two players, outside hitter Kaycee Green and libero/defensive specialist Cortney Crocker.
Green, from Cookeville, Tenn., played high school volleyball for Cookeville High School. She was a four-year starter, serving a team captain in 2008.
As a senior she also was named District 7-AAA MVP and Region 4-AAA MVP. She was also named to the 2008 Father Ryan Invitational All-Tournament Team. She was also listed on the “Prep Volleyball Senior Aces” Top 250.
In 2007 she was District 7-AAA MVP and a member of the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-Mid State First Team. She won both the Best Offensive and Best Defensive Awards for her high school team.
In 2006 she was given “Special Mention” on Prep Volleyball’s Sophomore 79 List. She was also a First Team All-District selection, First Team All-Region and was the Offensive Award winner for her high school team.
As a freshman in 2005 she was a member of the District 7-AAA All-Freshman Team, First Team All-Region and was the Cavalier Award winner for Cookeville High School.
Green played for the Impact Volleyball Club, 171 Silver. In 2008 they won the Junior Olympics 17-U National Division Championship. She was also on the 2007 Impact 171 Silver Team coach by Rosenthal. In 2006 she played for the Impact 161 Purple Team coached by Jay Golsteyn, who also coached the 2008 team.
“Kaycee has been in the club system I have been with and I have had the opportunity to coach her,” said Rosenthal. “She is a tremendous talent. She has been nationally recognized for her talent. She was recruited by some pretty big name schools. She is going to be a major factor for years to come.”
Rosenthal sees great opportunities for Green to continue to improve her talent level.
“I feel really good about getting her because of her growth in the last couple of years and her growth leadership-wise,” said Rosenthal. “She took a relatively inexperience team at Cookeville High School to the State Tournament this past year.
“It was neat to see. Everybody knew where the ball was going, but it was all the other things she was doing on the court that I was impressed with.
“I think her development this spring and summer in club volleyball is going to be important to her. She has to get in the mindset that she is going to be playing at the next level and not in high school anymore.”
Green is 6-feet in height, but she plays like a much taller player.
“Kaycee is a very natural player,” said Rosenthal. “She has an unbelievable wing span. She has the arm length of a player that is 6-3 or 6-4.”
Kaycee is the daughter of Brenda and David Green. She has one sister, Danielle, 22. She has not selected an academic major.
Rosenthal spent much of the recruiting season working on finding a top-level libero. He found Crocker at the National Tournament for club teams.
“We wanted someone who was going to be able to come in and challenge from the beginning,” said Rosenthal. “We wanted someone who could take a major part of the serve-receive and the defensive effort.
“It’s a little odd that the first priority is a defensive person or somebody who can pass. Courtney possesses all those qualities we need. She is extremely quick on the court. She possesses this very natural ability to pass and serve-receive.”
Crocker, 5-4, is from Breese, Ill., where she attended Mater Dei Catholic High School.
Ann Mullins, a former All-Atlantic Sun Conference libero and a conference record-setter, was also at the tournament with Rosenthal. Mullins serves as a graduate assistant on the volleyball team.
“Ann kind of had to sign off on it because of the success she had here,” said Rosenthal. “I wasn’t looking for someone who could be Ann, but who could do some of the things Ann did when she was here.
“Cortney is definitely quieter and more reserved than Ann. But she has an unbelievable passion for the game and is very much a competitor just like Ann.”
Crocker’s Southwest Illinois Club Team has participated in the Junior Olympics Nationals the past two seasons. They finished third in 2007.
In high school volleyball Crocker helped guide her team to an Elite 8 State Championship finish in 2005 and third place in the State Championship in 2008.
She was an honorable mention All-District selection her junior season. She has lettered four years in volleyball, serving as team captain in 2008. She was named “Best Defensive Player” her junior year on her high school team. She also lettered two seasons in basketball and four seasons in softball.
In the classroom Crocker has made High Honor Roll and Student of the Quarter. She is in “Who’s Who Among American High School Students” and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is also a U.S. Honor Roll Achievement nominee.
In addition to her talent, Crocker also brings a strong work ethic which is a trademark of the Lady Bisons volleyball program.
“She is going to run through walls for us,” said Rosenthal. “I am truly excited about what she is going to bring to this team defensively and to serve-receive for us.”
Crocker is the daughter of Krista and Bryan Gonzalez. She has one sister, Chelsea, 14. Crocker plans to major in Kinesiology.