MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team embarked on its 2017 season on Monday, returning to the court for preseason practices at the WVU Coliseum.
“It’s good to be back,” coach Reed Sunahara, who enters his third year at the helm, said. “We have a good mix of veterans and newcomers, so we’re working to get everyone on the same page. We look at every practice and every lift as an opportunity to get better, and I think we started off on the right foot. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this season.”
The veteran group is highlighted by sophomore outside hitter Payton Caffrey
, who recently earned mention on the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. Caffrey was the 2016 AVCA Midwest Region Freshman of the Year, earning AVCA All-Midwest Region, Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Freshman Team accolades in 2016. Fellow Big 12 All-Freshman Team honoree Erin Slinde
returns at setter, while middle blocker Mia Swanegan
enters her senior campaign after leading the league in blocking as a junior last season.
The squad will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday before heading to the southern part of the state for the weekend. WVU will train in Beckley, West Virginia, on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, the team will host an open clinic on Sunday from 1-3 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson High.
Mountaineers fans in Morgantown can get a sneak peek of the squad on Saturday, August 19, when the team hosts its annual Gold-Blue Scrimmage at 4 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum. West Virginia will host the WVU Invitational to open the season Aug. 25-26, welcoming Delaware (Aug. 25, 7 p.m.), UT-Martin (Aug. 26, 12:30 p.m.) and Penn State (Aug. 26, 7 p.m.) to Morgantown.