April 13, 2011
ARLINGTON, Tex. - UT Arlington found one of the cornerstones for the future of the program on Wednesday when Amanda Welsh signed with the Mavericks.
"She has some huge upside and where she comes from, Westlake High School in Austin, she has played in state championship finals," UTA coach Diane Seymour said. "She knows how to win. That's the first thing. She has good size and she can do more than set. She can hit as well. Her intelligence is great.
"We think she can become one of the great setters that UTA is accustomed to having."
UTA currently does not have a setter on the roster.
Welsh comes to UT Arlington from Westlake High School in Austin, where she made a name for herself as one of the state's top all-around players. She spent time at setter, outside hitter and right side during her four years and was a varsity starter for three years.
The four-year letterwinner was named second-team All-District as a senior. She previously made different levels of All-District teams each of the past two years, including being named first-team All-District as a sophomore while playing at Coronado High School in El Paso.
In high school, Welsh led her teams to championship levels. In two seasons at Westlake, Welsh led her team to becoming a state finalist as a junior and to fifth in the state as a senior. Her team was an area finalist when she was a sophomore at Coronado as well.
Last year Westlake went undefeated in the district without losing a set.
Welsh is expected to come in and start with the Mavericks yet to decide on running a 5-1 or a 6-2 offense. Seymour said she thinks Welsh's natural ability and the experience of the returning players around her will lead to a smooth transition.
"We liked her size and athleticism and we thought with all the experience we're returning, if we get a kid who can handle herself physically, the rest of it will come," Seymour said. "We didn't want to take a smaller setter who might struggle in the blocking part of the game for us and be frustrated with it. We wanted someone with size and that's part of the reason we went with Amanda as a freshman. Knowing that we have such great experience around her, I'm not concerned at all.
"I think she will play at a level above being a freshman because she is surrounded by such good people."
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