@EWUVolleyball Opens 2014 Campaign With First Practice

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Cheney, Wash. – The Eastern Washington women's volleyball team kicked off its 2014 campaign with the season's first practice in Reese Court Saturday, Aug. 9.

The team went through some fitness testing early in the day before rolling out the nets and balls for skill work in the afternoon.

"This team has really gelled over the summer and they're ready to go," Associate head coach Michael King said. "We're really going to take our time and put a core technical base into what we do. This team's self-discipline and self-belief are exceptional, and our three seniors have really stepped up and become true leaders."

King will serve as interim head coach this season after head coach Wade Benson announced he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence to fully regain his health following cancer treatments this past spring.

"Wade has done a great job of putting together a roster with a lot of depth," King said. "The competitiveness of that depth is fun to be a part of. For me personally, this is a fun experience to be with these young ladies; they're good people and terrific volleyball players."

A healthy mix of veterans and newcomers make up the Eagles' 2014 roster, headlined by a trio of returning seniors in Kelsey Julian, Talia Fermantez and Melissa Waelter. EWU returns eight letter winners from last year's squad while a massive recruiting effort saw the addition of 10 new players.

"We have a good variety of experienced players and newcomers this year," said Fermantez. "This team is full of great girls with a lot of talent. We're really excited to get on the court and work on our skills leading up to our alumni match on August 24."

Eastern's season begins with its annual alumni match in Reese Court at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24. The Eagles' first competitive match comes against Fairfield on Friday, Aug. 29, as part of the UNCW Hilton Garden Inn Wilmington Mayfaire Classic in Wilmington, N.C.

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