A&M International Signs First Players for Sports Program

Texas A&M International University presented its first five players in its athletics program at a press conference Monday at the University's Kinesiology-Convocation Building. All will be part of the Women's Volleyball team.

Athletic Director Steve Garippa called the occasion historic.

'These are the first five players signed by A&M International Volleyball Athletics and will be the first in what we believe will be an exciting sports program addition to our campus. We're delighted that they've chosen A&M International to further their studies and sports interests," Garippa said.

President Ray Keck concurred.

"In the space of a few weeks we've gone from intramural to varsity sports and from no teams to the beginnings of a team. We're looking forward to seeing our teams play and add to the diverse learning experiences possible here at A&M International," Dr. Keck said.

Coach Binny Canales introduced the team members, some joined by their parents for the official signing ceremony.

"They are accomplished athletes that will form a strong base for our first Women's Volleyball Team. We're looking forward to a winning season on the field and in the classroom, " Canales said.

They include:

Mayra Ferrara - An LCC transfer who was Honorable Mention for All-Conference 2000 and a member of the first team, All-Conference and All Region-2000 and first team All-Region and All Conference 2001.

Ashley Martinez - A St. Augustine High School graduate where she served on volleyball All District, All City and Hall of Fame teams.

Diana Veronica Lopez - An LCC transfer who was MVP for 2001, on the second NJCAA All-American Team, and first team All-Region and All Conference.

Denise Teniente - An LCC transfer and defense specialist who played on the Alexander High School team.

Lea T. Valdez - An LCC transfer originally from San Antonio's Harlandale High School who earned All-City, All-District and All Tourney East Central Invitational (NJCAA) honors.

For additional information, please visit Athletics Program offices in the Kinesiology-Convocation Building, phone 956.326.2891 or email sgarippa@tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu