Every week, GeorgiaStateSports.com will take a few minutes to catch up with some of our players from each Panther team to let you, the fans, get to know them a little better. You normally see the statistics and game recaps, but here, we will ask different questions each week to three new players across all sports throughout the year. Hopefully it will give you a glimpse into their personalities and let you know them a little more.

This week, we talked with coach Joerg Barthel from men's tennis, coach Robin Stephenson from women's tennis and coach Beth Van Fleet of sand volleyball. Next week, we will hear from student-athletes of men's and women's tennis along with track and field.

Barthel is in his second year as head coach for the men's tennis team. In his first year with the Panthers, he was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year and was able to lead the team to a Sun Belt championship. Under Barthel, men's tennis advanced to the first round of the NCAA Championship. He comes to us from Friedrichsdorf, Germany and was offered the assistant coach position from the University of Nebraska staff.

Stephenson enters her first year as head coach for the women's tennis team. As a former professional tennis player and an All-American at Alabama, she bring years of experience to Georgia State. Before joining GSU, Stephenson was on the staff of Georgia Tech's women's tennis team for two seasons and helped earn the team a national title in her first season. And as a former student-athlete for the University of Alabama, she earned multiple accolades for her performance in both singles and doubles.

Van Fleet is a former Georgia State star student-athlete turned coach. During her court volleyball career as a Panther, she was able to compile 1,177 kills, the fourth most kills in the school history. She earned second-team all-conference honors during her junior and senior year. After graduating from GSU, Van Fleet move to California to pursue her dream of playing professional beach volleyball on the AVP Tour. She was the assistant coach for the 2012-13 season of sand volleyball but took the position of head coach on July 1, 2013.

GSU Logo


Joerg Barthel


Robin Stephenson


Beth Van Fleet 

If you had to change your name, what would it be?  Michael, because my first name is difficult to pronounce, and it comes in handy when placing my food orders  Malorie Rutledge Michelle, it's my middle name 
Do you believe in aliens, ghosts or both? Neither
Ghosts  I try not to 
What would you have as your birthday meal? Duck with red cabbage and potato dumplings   Chicken Tikka Masala from the best Indian restaurant and my mom's homemade desserts Chicken with yellow rice and pico de gallo 
What story does your family always tell about you? How the doctor dropped me right after I was born   That I was very curious growing up and asked 'why' about everything  The time I passed out at the doctor's when I had to get my blood drawn
When you are running late, what is the most likely thing for you to forget? My wallet   My passport  My phone
What is one habit that you are the most proud of breaking?  Drinking too much coffee It's a work in progress, but I need to stop biting my nails   Procrastinating... well kind of
What is that one thing that makes you different from the rest?  Passion for others I am a dual citizen, Canadian and American   My younger brother. He makes me way cooler than I actually am
What's the bravest thing you have ever done? Interfering for an elderly woman's behalf on a train in Germany   Left home to follow my dreams and turned that into a reality Moving to California by myself to play pro beach volleyball without a job or a place to stay  
What do you worry about?  Losing what is important to me  Asking myself if I am doing everything I can to the best of my abilities and how I can help those around me to do the same  I don't. Worrying is a waste of time and I have a plan for everything
Who is the most dependable person in your life that is not a family member? My cat, Adi  My best friend back home that I have known since I was five years old  My college teammate in Georgia