ATLANTA- With autumn nearing and the fall season just around the corner, Georgia State beach volleyball is excited to have three graduate transfers joining the team for the 2017-18 campaign. The coaches and players are pleased to welcome Tiffany Creamer, Annika Van Gunst, and Teegan Van Gunst to the GSU family. All three athletes are Georgia natives, and enrolled at Georgia State this fall. Each of the three has experience competing at the highest level of collegiate athletics, as Creamer played court and beach volleyball for Stetson and the Van Gunst sisters both shined on the court at Georgia Tech.
“Our graduate student-athletes are making an immediate impact on this team with regard to what focused and purposeful effort looks like”, said head coach Beth Van Fleet. “All three of them are local athletes who will enjoy playing in front of a home crowd.”
Tiffany Creamer comes to the Panthers from Newnan, Georgia by way of Stetson University. Creamer earned ASUN All-Freshman team honors her first season on the court, before turning her focus towards the sand. On the beach Creamer accumulated 42 dual victories, ranking her eighth in school history. Last season Creamer tallied a 20-10 record that included non-conference wins over five top-ten ranked teams. Tiffany was named to the ASUN Honor Roll every year she was eligible.
“Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and game IQ”, said Van Fleet. “She is well trained and generously shares her knowledge with her teammates. Her coachability and consistency executing each skill is impressive and helpful for the younger athletes to observe. We expect her to play a blocking role for us this year.”
Annika and Teegan Van Gunst will join Creamer on the squad this season. The twins are both Georgia Tech graduates and Fayetteville, Georgia natives. Annika started every court volleyball match in each of her final three seasons at Georgia Tech. She joined her sister Teegan as one of just nine players in school history to accumulate 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs. Annika had a strong presence at the net tallying 50+ blocks in three of her four seasons with the Yellow Jackets. She was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll in each of her four seasons.
“Annika is just several weeks into the beach transition and making it look easy”, per Van Fleet. “She is a great teammate and holds herself to a high standard of learning, growing and contributing in each training session. Annika acts with the enthusiasm of a freshman with the wisdom of a graduate; her intensity and athleticism will serve her well as she continues to build her skill set in the sand. We see Annika playing a blocker or split blocker role for the squad.”
Rounding out the graduate class is Annika’s twin, Teegan Van Gunst. Teegan was named first team All-ACC her junior and senior season at Georgia Tech. She led the team in kills in each of her final three seasons, and recorded 20+ double-doubles in her junior and senior seasons. Teegan started in every match during her time at Georgia Tech. This summer, Teegan represented Team USA in the 2017 University Games in Taipei playing along some of the greatest collegiate athletes in the world.
“What I think I’ll remember most are the people”, said Van Gunst in regards to her time in Taipei. “The Taiwanese people are genuinely the kindest, most friendly group of people I have been around. I met some pretty great athletes and people from all over the USA and the world. This event broke down any and all potential barriers, whether that be culture, race, or politics and allowed us as athletes to come together and rally around our shared love for life and sports. I won’t ever take for granted the opportunity to wear the USA flag on my chest and represent my country.”
“Upon her return, Teegan immediately jumped into the sand with her new teammates”, said coach Van Fleet. “She is a driven athlete, and her competitive nature allows her to work at the upper limits of her comfort zone while remaining patient with her learning curve. We expect Teegan to fulfill a blocking or split-blocking role this season. “
Georgia State beach volleyball is happy to have these three well-rounded student-athletes to the Panther family.