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Preseason Blog: Seniors Discuss First Week of Practice

Aug. 12, 2016

STORRS, Conn. - Preseason practices continue for the University of Connecticut volleyball team, as the season-opening match against Syracuse on Friday, Aug. 26 rapidly approaches.

Leading up to the first serve against the Orange, the Huskies will be providing practice blogs to deliver insight into the progress being made by the team.

Under third-year head coach Kris Grunwald, UConn looks to take another step forward in 2016 after a four-game improvement last season.

The first blog was put together by the senior class of outside hitter Jade Strawberry, middle blocker Hayley Cmajdalka, setter Rebecca Rivera and outside hitter Camille Evans.

For more news and updates throughout the season, follow @UConnVB on Twitter, UConn Volleyball on Facebook and UConnVBall on Instagram.

"I can't believe how fast time has flown these past years! Summer session is almost over and we are starting our final preseason. Our day started off with meetings with some of our important staff members. Coach Demarco talked to us about health and nutrition, and then our trainer, Colleen, talked to us about her responsibilities to our team. We then went into our first official team meeting and got reacquainted with the team rules and got excited for the potential we have this upcoming season. However, the most exciting part of the day was when Christmas came early! WE LOVE GEAR DAY! Later that day, we had a great kickoff with a cookout at our assistant coach Ellen's house on Monday night (we really stumped Coach Kris with our crazy puzzle games)! To this day he still has not figured it out. Scottie did a great job manning the grill while the rest of the team was getting competitive with some Spike Ball. Ellen's stepdaughter, Ella, joined in on the fun and even managed to get a couple of points against our coaches, Robbie and Scottie. Jade really seemed to enjoy the cheeseburgers.



Day two consisted of our first sessions. This week is our last week of summer session so a few people were still in classes. The people without class got to get in a few extra touches before our team practice in the afternoon. We also got a heads up on the few changes made to our system. After our first session we got to meet up with the rest of the team for lunch at McMahon Dining Hall. Our first workout with everyone was a team lift followed by our three-hour practice. We started off practice with a couple games of "trips"(back row 3 vs. 3 with a setter) with Robbie vs. Ellen teams. Our first day back as a full team, we all brought a lot of energy and hustle onto the court. Our two freshmen are getting more and more acquainted with our team system as each practice goes on; although we are impressed how quickly they are picking it up.

Day three started at 8:15am by warming up for our 8:30 practice. We started off again with Robbie vs. Ellen "trips." We then split up for a little bit by position. Middles and rights worked with blocking and a connection with setters. Liberos worked on serve receive and the outsides worked on some blocking with Ellen. The setters are working hard on getting used to the new system changes. After session, we got a nice stretch with our yoga instructor, Carol. Carol is the best; she really helps us free our minds when we have a stressful week. Now we are eagerly waiting our second session of the day!"

XOXO Jade, Hayley, Becca and Cami