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Jan. 10, 2003

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina volleyball is looking ahead for replenishing vacancies to come in the 2003 season as the Gamecocks recently received three letters of intent. Katelyn Panzau of Belleville, Ill., Shonda Cole of Kings Mountain, N.C. and Thais Mirela Pedroso of Sao Bernardo, Brazil have agreed to join the Gamecocks next season.

Panzau is a 5-11 two-time Illinois All-State setter who attended Bellville Township High School West and played for Southwest Illinois Volleyball Club.

“Katelyn is an exceptional athlete with speed and mobility. She has tremendous court awareness, combined with innate leadership skills and confidence,” said head coach Kim Christopher. “I am excited about Katelyn and what she can add to our program. She is still a very young athlete with huge potential for development. I will enjoy coaching her because of her court intelligence and positive personality.”

Cole is a 6-3 outside hitter from Kings Mountain High School and was coached by Suzanne Grayson. The North Carolina volleyball Gatorade Player of the Year led her team to the state title in 2002.

“Shonda may be one of the most athletic recruits we have had come into South Carolina,” said Christopher. “She has quick feet with a fast arm and jump touched 10’4 while in team camp. Shonda will be fun to coach because she has such a high ceiling and is eager to learn.

The Gamecocks go global with the signing of Pedroso, a 6-3 outside hitter and a Brazilian junior national team member.

“Thais is a very good all around player that has been playing volleyball most of her life,” said Christopher. “She has good size and high level playing experience. She will bring the ball control and passing that we need.”