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Fall Season Nears as Three More Eastern Florida Teams Open Practice

Aug. 5, 2013 - Three more Eastern Florida State College athletic teams began their fall practices on Monday as the 2013 season drew closer.

The college's two new teams — women's tennis and men's soccer — practiced at Melbourne's Jimmy Moore Tennis Complex and on EFSC's Melbourne Campus respectively.

volleyball team
It starts with attitude: the Titans Volleyball team kicks off preseason practice with a pose that shows they plan to play tough.

Volleyball took to the floor on the Melbourne Campus gym for its first formal workout. Golf holds its first practice for the fall season on Aug. 20 at the Fred Gay Golf Academy Driving Range in Cocoa.

Women's soccer began practice on Aug. 1.

Eastern Florida has nine intercollegiate sports – the others being baseball, softball and men's and women's basketball - the most of any of the 23 institutions competing in the Florida College System Activities Association.

While men's soccer and women's tennis start with a clean slate, golf finished fifth in its 11th straight appearance in the NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament in May and volleyball is seeking to rebound from a 7-24 record.

Head volleyball coach Herb Tokumoto is upbeat.

"We've had the players running in open gym and I have been very pleased with what I've seen," Tokumoto said. "I had a meeting on Wednesday to inform the players that last weekend was their final true weekend off."

His message to his players was simple: "This journey will be a great ride on their path of life, but it'll only be a part of the journey.

Micaela Vowinkel prepares to jump from the practice box to simulate the jumping, twisting and body control that will be needed during match play.

"The players seem to be bringing their own motivation," Tokumoto added. "Sophomores said they are determined to prove their worth and the freshmen are excited to be here and are in great anticipation."

Volleyball opens its season Aug. 23 and 24 at the Florida State College Jacksonville Tournament.

Tennis coach Chuck Jacobs welcomed three players at that team's Monday afternoon practice — freshmen Cocoa Beach, FL, High graduate Hope Fellows and Palm Bay, FL, High graduate Laura Gorski and sophomore and Melbourne Central Catholic, FL, graduate Kalia Cochran.

Sophomore transfer and inaugural signee Masa Smic, a sophomore transfer from Ljubljana, Slovenia and Wichita State University, Kasey Love, a sophomore transfer from Port Orange, FL, and Slippery Rock University, and freshman Isabella Sella from Valinhos, Brazil, and Adoniran Barbosa School join the team this week with the first full practice set for Aug. 12.

Tennis opens its fall season with the Aug. 31-Sept. 1 USTA/ITA Campus Showdown at Melbourne's Florida Tech.

Men's soccer head coach Oliver Twelvetrees greeted his team for a morning meeting before afternoon practice. Twelvetrees has charted an ambitious course, scheduling an 11 a.m. Wednesday scrimmage on campus against NAIA Florida Memorial of Miami Gardens.

Men's soccer also will scrimmage at Webber International in Babson Park and at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach before opening its season along with women's soccer on Aug. 23 and 24 in Perkinston, MS. The men play Mississippi Gulf Coast and San Jacinto (TX) while the women play Mississippi Gulf Coast and 2012 NJCAA Division I District H foe Pearl River (MS).

"It's great to finally have everyone on campus and ready to go," Twelvetrees said. "We've got to get to work quickly and efficiently. We've got a lot of ground to cover in the next 18 days."

To that end Twelvetrees emphasized several points in his initial message to his team: "Do the right thing, push yourself, be humble and try to be the best you can be," he said. "Embrace the competition and seize the opportunity."