What you need to know:

* Georgia State welcomes four newcomers to the beach volleyball team.

* Among the signees include two incoming freshmen, a fifth-year senior, and a graduate student.

* Head coach Beth Van Fleet and the beach family are excited to welcome Chelsea Ross, Georgia Johnson, Haley Pa’akaula, and Maddie Gordon.


ATLANTA – The Georgia State beach volleyball team is proud to announce the addition of four players to its program, head coach Beth Van Fleet announced Monday. The coaching staff and players expect Chelsea Ross, Georgia Johnson, Haley Pa’akaula, and Maddie Gordon to add depth to an impressive core of eight seasoned veterans.

Coach Van Fleet spoke very highly of the signees and expects them to contribute to the beach program from day one. “Our 2017 class will add depth, experience and a new perspective to our program. With two graduate students and five freshmen, we expect to work through some early growing pains but will look to these student-athletes to contribute to the team’s culture and daily successes.”

Chelsea Ross, a Murfreesboro, Tenn. native, transfers to Georgia State from Middle Tennessee State’s court volleyball team. She played outside hitter for the Blue Raiders and appeared in all 109 sets as a senior. Ross led her team in kills (512) and kills per set average (4.70). She finished the season ranked nationally in several categories and was named first-team All-Conference USA in 2014 and 2015.

An incoming freshman, Georgia Johnson comes to Georgia State from Queensland, Australia. In addition to volleyball, Johnson played netball, basketball, tennis, cross country, track & field, and swimming at Loreto College Coopraroo in Brisbane, Australia. Johnson competed in the U17 beach volleyball World Championships in 2014 and served as co-captain of the Australian Youth women’s volleyball team.

Haley Pa’akaula, a native of Honolulu, Hawai'i, transfers to Georgia State from Towson University in Maryland. She enrolls as a graduate student at GSU pursuing a Masters in Global Hospitality Management. At Towson, Pa’akaula started all 32 matches as a middle blocker on the court volleyball team and was named second-team All-CAA as a senior. She had a school record 30 kills in a match versus Utah Valley.

From Fort Worth, Texas, Maddie Gordon is a true freshman from Boswell High School where she played outside hitter. She helped her team to a District and Bi-District Championship in 2015. Gordon also earned Academic All-District honors and led her team to a gold medal at the Windy City National Qualifier in 2015. Gordon played beach volleyball for Texas Image Sand under head coach Brad Rengstorff.

Beth Van Fleet and the entire beach volleyball program are thrilled to have these four talented individuals join the #PantherFamily.

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