Kris Grunwald and the Huskies have high hopes for the 2014 campaign.
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut volleyball team officially kicked off the 2014 preseason on Friday when the squad reported to the Storrs Campus for team meetings. UConn is set to compete in its second season in the American Athletic Conference.
First-year head coach Kris Grunwald has been busy since taking over the reins of the program in early April. Grunwald, who was a member of the Auburn coaching staff the last two seasons, hired Sarah Cullen (DePaul '10) and Ellen Herman (Ohio '10) to round out his staff in late May.
UConn returns 11 letterwinners from the 2013 team, led by American Athletic Conference Second Team member Karson Ratliff. The Wake Forest, N.C. native was one of the most consistent players in the conference last season, leading the Huskies with 365 kills (2.99/set) and earning a spot on the league's weekly honor roll on three different occasions (Oct. 14, Nov. 25, Dec. 2).
In addition to the returning players, UConn has added three freshmen and two transfers to complete its 16-player roster.
The Huskies will face a challenging schedule that includes 12 non-conference games and four in-season tournaments. There are four teams that Connecticut has never faced before, including new American Athletic Conference members ECU and Tulsa. Overall, UConn has 32 games on its 2014 slate.
The Huskies will host an annual Blue vs. White scrimmage on Aug. 20 at Gampel Pavilion. The event is open to the public and is free-of-charge. The regular season begins on Aug. 29 when the Huskies welcome Indiana, Central Connecticut, and New Hampshire to Storrs for the 2014 UConn Classic.
To keep up with the team during the preseason activities, follow @UConnVB on twitter or visit UConnHuskies.com