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EFSC Volleyball Poised for Saturday's Season-Opening Matches
Aug. 19, 2014 - After three weeks of multiple practices and one scrimmage Eastern Florida's volleyball team is ready for points that count.
The Titans, under new head coach Andrea Rasmussen, open their regular season with two matches on Saturday at Lake-Sumter State College in Leesburg.
They play Gulf Coast State College at 2 p.m. and Lake-Sumter at 6 p.m. The Titans then play at Daytona State College on Aug. 26 and in the two-day tournament at Florida State College Jacksonville on Aug. 29-30 before playing their home opener at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 against Polk State College. That Sept. 2 match will be webcast live atwww.njcaatv.com/efsc.
All Eastern Florida home matches are played in the Melbourne Campus gym and admission is free. The Titans 6 p.m. Sept. 9 home match against conference foe and powerhouse Miami Dade College will be televised live on WEFS-TV and streamed live on the web.
Rasmussen, who came to Eastern Florida from St. Edward's School in Vero Beach and brings extensive intercollegiate experience, asked a lot of her players in three-a-day practices in the pre-season and they responded.
"This college volleyball in the Florida College System Activities Association and its Southern Conference," Rasmussen said. "We have to be prepared if we expect to be competitive, which we do.
"We as coaches challenged our players by setting high expectations and lofty but achievable goals and the players being the competitors they are — you don't reach this level if you aren't a competitor — expect to succeed."
The Titans have a mix of experience and newcomers who have jelled on and off the court as the season approaches. Leading the way are returning sophomores outside hitter, right-side hitter and setter Mariah Davis (Fort Pierce, Florida, John Carroll High), setter McKenzie Price (Carson City, Nevada, Carson City High), middle blocker and right-side hitter Lindsey Pugh (Titusville, Florida, Titusville High) outside hitter and right-side hitter Arianna Bethel (Stuart, Florida, Martin County High) and middle blocker and right-side hitter Michelle Rodriguez (Caguas, Puerto Rico, Vocational Rep. de Costa Rica High).
All five returnees are listed among the top returning attackers in the 2014 NJCAA Division I Volleyball Season Preview.
The newcomers are Lindsey Whittington, freshman, Sebring, Florida, Sebring High, setter; Caitlin Stoner, freshman, Clearwater, Florida, Clearwater High, libero, defensive specialist; Fernanda Faustino, sophomore, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Northeastern Junior College, outside hitter, right-side hitter; Jordan Hinkle, freshman, Sebring, Sebring High, libero, defensive specialist; Juliana Torres, freshman, Santa Catarina, Brazil, EEB Francisco Mazzola, middle blocker, right-side hitter; Lena Kalberer, freshman, Stuttgart, Germany, Hedwig Dohn Schule, middle blocker; and Treasure Ingram, freshman, Fort Pierce, John Carroll, outside hitter, right-side hitter.
"We have a talented, hard-working team comprised of players who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work to win volleyball games," Rasmussen said.
"Needless to say we are all very excited to finally be playing in the regular season against uniforms of a different color and are very excited about what lies ahead."
Rasmussen is assisted by Ashley Bryant who played four seasons as a libero/defensive specialist at NCAA Division II Florida Tech, also located in Melbourne.