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Volleyball: Preseason Camp Arrives for Louisiana on Friday
Ragin’ Cajuns step onto the court for the first practice on Saturday
LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team members are set to report to campus on Friday, Aug. 9, signaling the start of preseason camp for the upcoming 2019 season.
Friday's schedule includes both group and team meetings aimed at charting the course for camp. The first practices are set for Saturday, Aug. 10 at Earl K. Long Gym.
Louisiana (15-15, 7-9 SBC in 2018) heads into the 12th season under the guidance of head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot. The squad will hold practice over a two-week span prior to the start of class on Monday, Aug. 26, culminating with an exhibition match at Houston Baptist (Aug. 24).
"The start of camp is always exciting – you welcome new individuals coming in and those progressing through our system," Mazeitis-Fontenot stated. "What will make this season extra special is our staff. We've got two new great hires in Bruno (Chateau) and Tim (Vaderwerff) who will add new things, especially Bruno who has experience with the French National Team, and that should be a real positive aspect for our players."
Highlighting the list of returners is junior outside hitter Hali Wisnoskie, a two-time All-Sun Belt selection and preseason all-conference choice for 2019, who owns a pair of 300-plus kills seasons and senior middle blocker Dree'Ana Abram who has dominated at the net with back-to-back seasons of 90-plus blocks.
Other returning starters include right side hitter Desiree Johnson who appeared in every match and set during her rookie campaign and setters Avery Breaux and Milayne Danna who directed the 6-2 offense in 2018.
Tia Smith, who showed she can be a force in the middle during a key two-week stretch in the second half of Sun Belt play last season, is expected to make an impact.
The Ragin' Cajuns welcome a pair of newcomers from the junior college ranks in standout libero Hannah Ramirez from Panola College along with Lafayette native Elise Baranco who returns home after one season at Pratt (Kan.) Community College.
Joining the team as freshmen are Dallas Skyline Juniors standouts Kara Barnes and Celeste Darling and Parker, Colo., product Claire Turner.
"Our veterans excelled this summer in leading our team through their workouts," Mazeitis-Fontenot remarked. "Now, I'm anxious to see who will step forward and lead us into this 2019 season.
"The main goal will be us continuing our growth from the spring and learning each other's tendencies. Everyone is ready to work really hard, be pushed, and be disciplined in what Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball is."
Fans can get a glimpse of the 2019 squad during the Vermilion and White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. inside Earl K. Long Gym, followed by Fan Day festivities at the Cajundome Convention Center on Sunday, Aug. 18 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Following the HBU exhibition, the Ragin' Cajuns officially begin the 2019 season by kicking off a season-opening, seven-match homestand the weekend of Aug. 30-31 with the DoubleTree Classic at Earl K. Long Gym.
DATES TO REMEMBER
Saturday, Aug. 17 – Vermilion vs. White Scrimmage – 2 p.m. (Earl K. Long Gym)
Sunday, Aug. 18 – Fan Day – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Cajundome Convention Center)
Saturday, Aug. 24 – Exhibition at Houston Baptist – 4 p.m. (Houston, Texas)
Friday, Aug. 30 – Season Opener vs. Incarnate Word – 1:30 p.m. (Earl K. Long Gym)
FOLLOW THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsVB), Facebook (/RaginCajunsVB) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsVB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Volleyball.
- www.RaginCajuns.com -
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