OXFORD, Miss. - While many students are enjoying the final days of summer, the Ole Miss volleyball team, under first-year head coach Steven McRoberts, is already back in Oxford preparing for the 2014 season, as preseason camp kicked off Saturday.
Friday, the team reported to campus for a full day of orientation, acclimation and team meetings as the student-athletes met with different members of the Ole Miss Athletics staff, including compliance, media relations, athletic training, strength and conditioning and academics. Athletics Director Ross Bjork took time out to speak to the team as well. Following a full afternoon of meetings, the team members received their new Nike gear for the season.
Adding to the excitement of starting a new season and the beginning of a new era, several updates to the Gillom Sports Center took place while the team was away between second summer session and the start of camp, including a newly designed court.
Thirteen players took to the courts Saturday morning for a two-hour practice, spending a lot of time on ball control. The Rebels broke for lunch, before coming back in the afternoon for position practices.
"We all came in excited. It's definitely a new challenge for us, a new beginning," McRoberts said. "We have a lot of work to do, but the effort was there and the attitude was good. You always have to go through that first practice to see what direction you want the next few days of camp to go."
Coach McRoberts will benefit from the return of 11 letterwinners, including four position starters. Key returnees include junior middle blockers Nakeyta Clair and Ty Laporte as well as right side hitter Melanie Crow and setter Aubrey Edie.
The Rebels will practice once Sunday before resuming two-a-day practices Monday.
Be sure to come see the team and meet Coach McRoberts at the annual "Meet the Rebels Day" Presented by Cannon Motors, Saturday, August 16 at the Manning Center. The team posters will be handed out and the Rebels will be signing autographs.
Doors will open to Rebel Kids' Club Members (with up to two parents or guardians) at 11:30 a.m., at the south entrance of the facility, which faces the Track & Field complex. The general public may enter at noon, and all fans should park in the Coliseum lot.
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