The defending Sun Belt champion Middle Tennessee volleyball team is wrapping up their first week of preseason training camp this weekend, and expectations for this year's squad remain as high as ever.
"We're very excited to be back in the gym," head coach Matt Peck said. "We have 11 players back from last year, including five starters and our libero as well as a starter from the previous year in Alyssa Wistrick who missed last season due to injury. It's a very short training camp this year, and the team is anxious for Aug. 27 to get here."
The Blue Raiders have been especially busy in the gym this week, undergoing several days of two-a-days in preparation for the season opener against Colorado State at the end of the month.
"We had to start the week with smaller group sessions due to school still being in session, so that was a bit of a difficult way to get things going," Peck said. "We started full team sessions on Thursday, and I think it may pay off in the long run in keeping the team fresh going into the rest of camp."
Freshmen get a taste of their first camp
With camp underway, the Middle Tennessee coaching staff now has the opportunity to evaluate the incoming freshmen class up close, and the reviews have been positive.
"This might be the best freshmen class we've had here, top-to-bottom," Peck said. "Some of them have been here since June, and they've meshed very well. They're a very hard working group. We have four kids that are going to be competing for spots on the court right away, which is outstanding. Just a very, very good group of freshmen."
Both Monét Marshall and Tyler Richardson will be competing for time at middle blocker while Lindsey Purvis and Kaylee Kehoe will be looking for minutes at defensive specialist and setter, respectively.
Kozon opens up play at World University Games
Former Blue Raider Izabela Kozon played in Poland's opening match at the World University Games on Sunday morning, serving in a reserve role as Poland swept Canada, 3-0. The 2010 Sun Belt Player of the Year made her national team debut in the third set, contributing two points.
Blue Raiders to play Blue-White Scrimmage
Middle Tennessee will make their unofficial home debut a week prior to the opening of the regular season as the Blue Raiders will put on their annual Blue-White Scrimmage next Saturday at 3 p.m. As with all Middle Tennessee matches at Alumni Memorial Gym, admission is free to the public.
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