Aug. 12, 2004
In the off-season, Kress made an addition to his coaching staff with the hiring of former University of Iowa head coach and Olympian Rita Buck-Crockett. She replaced Jenny Fette who accepted the head coaching position at Thomas More College after spending the seasons as an assistant coach under Kress. Buck-Crockett has a strong history of recruiting the best athletes and combine that with the return of assistant coach Kirstine Jensen for her third season, the Seminoles are making their name in the volleyball world.
Coach Kress on Rita Buck-Crockett:
“We have the privilege of adding Rita Buck-Crockett to our coaching staff this year. “First and foremost, she’s a good person, big into family and has great character. When you look at what she has done professionally its pretty much second to none as far as the things she has been able to accomplish as both a player and a coach professionally overseas. She’s talked about staying in coaching nine or 10 more years and us being a partnership in that time. By the time she’s done she wants to win a national championship. That’s always been my goal and the reason I came to Florida State. I didn’t really put a time frame on it, but that’s something we want to make happen. If we continue to take the strides training our kids and bringing in the best talent in the country, we feel we can accomplish that.”
The 2004 recruiting class shows what Kress is trying to do with the Florida State program in bringing in the nation’s top talent. The Seminoles welcome freshmen Danielle McDonald (Holly, Hill, Fla.), Lauren Walker (Missouri City, Tex.), Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla.) as well as transfers Andreza Santos (College of Southern Idaho) and Lauren Scott (Barton CC). Weissing and McDonald will look for immediate playing time while Santos and Scott will bring in experience and a high talent level that is very beneficial to this year’s team. Scott’s Barton Community College team won the 2003 NJCAA National Championship. Andreza is the older sister of current Seminole middle blocker Amanda Santos. Andreza was a NJCAA first team All-American after leading the Scenic West Athletic Conference with 609 kills and a .412 hitting percentage in 2003.
Coach Kress on the Newcomers:
“It’s a diverse group of newcomers because we’ve got a number of freshmen and a couple of transfers. They all have an opportunity to make an impact on the program this year. The freshmen class is headed by Summer Weissing who was a Fab 50 student athlete this year as a senior. She led her program to three state championships and had a tremendous senior season. She is someone who is going to come in and really help us out in the ball control area defensively with her ball control and passing. She’s the type of student athlete we want to bring in to this program. Danielle McDonald is also an in-state kid that we really wanted to have as a part of our program. What is appealing about Danielle is that she is very versatile. She can play any of the front row positions. She played mostly middle in high school, but also had some training on the opposite and left sides.”
“Andreza Santos, Amanda’s older sister, played at the College of Southern Idaho this past year and then tore her ACL the day before the national championship tournament started. So she is coming back off that injury. All reports that we have heard is that she is getting close to 100 percent. If she is at 100 percent, she can redefine that outside position for us. She can be a leader out there for us. She plays with a lot of fire and is a very efficient outside hitter.
“Lauren Scott is somebody who has really improved her game a lot in the last two years. I think she has yet to see her best volleyball. She is still improving at a fast pace. I think her two years at Florida State will be by far her best of her career.”
“The other newcomer we should really look at is Renee Hill. Last year she came in and redshirted. She wasn’t back from her knee injury and tried to go, but just couldn’t do it. She trained overseas this year in the offseason and now is at 100 percent. Renee at 100 percent is going to help everybody, with her leadership on the court and her ball control skills. She’s able to score from both the outside and opposite positions. She’s kind of the diamond in the rough type player for us this year. She wasn’t able to produce a whole lot for us last year, but she will be a huge benefit for us this year.”
“Lauren (Walker) will be a walk-on for us and I think with the right training will be a great defensive player in our program. She’s looking up to sophomore Sarah Griffin that is leading the way at that position. Rita (Buck-Crockett) has highlighted her as someone that she thinks can be a tremendous defensive specialist for us in the future.”