Aug. 8, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF volleyball team kicked off its 2012 preseason camp on Wednesday at The Venue at UCF with one key theme in mind; finish. The coaching staff stressed on the first day of camp that players must finish every drill, finish every technique and finish every set.
The morning practice began with each player testing out their workout numbers in different types of Olympic-style exercises such as the broad jump, the block jump, the vertical leap and timed sprints. The players were able to compare where they are now in each of these workouts compared to where they were at the end of last season. Progress in these areas was evident as many players showed great improvement after working hard in the spring and summer.
"We started today with testing," senior middle blocker Tory McCutcheon said. "The numbers look really good. The broad jump was really fun and it made me feel like a track athlete."
From there, the team broke off into positional drills with head coach Todd Dagenais working with the outside hitters and liberos, new assistant coach Nicki Holmes working with the setters and assistant head coach Michelle Chatman working with the middle-blockers.
Today's practice wrapped up with a service drill where players were required to complete seven of 10 serves in play with each falling within their average serve speed. If the players were unable to complete the drill, they repeated it until each player on the team successfully hit the 70 percent mark. This drill was also great at building team chemistry as each player that completed the drill stayed and offered encouragement and assistance to their teammates as they finished the exercise. Dagenais explained to the group that they wanted them to experience "do or die" situations from the very first practice.
The two-week training camp will see the Black and Gold participating in twice-daily practices, before concluding camp on Aug. 18 with the second of two scheduled Black and Gold scrimmages. The squad's first scrimmage takes place on Aug. 11.