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Volleyball Opens Preseason Camp at Earl K. Long Gym
LAFAYETTE – The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball team held its first practice of preseason camp on Tuesday as preparations for the upcoming 2017 season began at Earl K. Long Gym.
"The energy level was very high and the desire to improve is definitely there, even from our veterans," head coach Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot remarked. "The leadership that Stacey (Reilly), Chloe (Cordell), Chynna (Brooks) and Jess (Bartczyszyn) are showing is the best I've seen in quite some time – that will make a huge difference.
"Being able to accelerate our practice for later this afternoon tells me we're on the right track," Mazeitis-Fontenot added. "It's evident that everything we did this summer, all of the work our players put in, is going to pay dividends for us in the long run."
The members of the 2017 squad returned to the UL Lafayette campus on Monday. The day was spent conducting team meetings and fulfilling other obligations in preparation for the start of preseason camp.
Mazeitis-Fontenot enters her 10th season as head volleyball coach at Louisiana. The Ragin' Cajuns return 13 players from the 2016 squad highlighted by preseason All-Sun Belt selections Jessica Bartczyszyn and Stacey Reilly. All but one starter is back and the kills leader (Reilly), starting setter (Bartczyszyn) and digs leader (Sydney Davis) from 2016 are in place.
A talented group of seven newcomers, which features Lafayette-area standouts Avery Breaux (St. Thomas More HS) and Lexi Hebert (Teurlings Catholic HS), complete the roster.
The Ragin' Cajuns will hold practice over the next two weeks prior to the start of classes on Aug. 21 and the season-opening weekend in San Antonio Aug. 25-26 at the I-10 Cardinals Classic hosted by Incarnate Word.
"Aside from figuring out who will play where, the biggest thing will be to get them to understand the tempo that we want to run," Mazeitis-Fontenot said. "Our goal is to have the best defense in the conference, so we're going to be putting a lot of time and effort on that side of the ball."
For more information on Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns volleyball, as well as all of Ragin' Cajuns Athletics, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow along with the team on Facebook (/ULVolleyball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsVB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsVB).
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