By Megan Herboth
+ Senior Sessions: Kaye-Alese Green
+ Senior Sessions: Marie Reiterova
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF volleyball team opens the 2014 campaign in just two and a half weeks. As the team prepares for the season, the seniors reflect on their time at UCF.
Libero Jade Hayes joined the Knights before the 2013 season and said she learned a lot both on and off the court.
It's about more than what you do on the court, Hayes said. It's how you are as a person off the court as well. This program prides itself on character.
The Ozark, Mo., native had big shoes to fill as the Knights had graduated the all-time leader in career digs, career digs per set, single season digs per set and single match digs, Meredith Murphy. Not only did Hayes earn the starting libero spot, her 530 digs ranked second in a single season, and her 4.61 digs per set established a new single season record. In addition to her personal achievements, she said that the team really bonded last season, and acknowledged the support of the fans for their success.
It was intense and exciting, she said. I loved our team spirit.
Wanting to build on last year's accomplishments, Hayes also noted that she wishes to provide a supportive type of leadership to help the team. She said it is important to develop a chemistry and trust between the players off the court that will translate onto the playing surface.
I want us to (come out) strong every match, no matter who we're playing, what their record is, or how we feel we've been playing in practices, she said. I want us to go out with confidence, strong and have Knight pride.
UCF Volleyball, which is presented by Radisson-UCF Area, opens the season at The Venue with the Radisson UCF Invitational on Aug. 29 and 30.