UTD set to debut volleyball

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the opening of UTD, but 20 years from now 2004 may best be remembered for a new beginning – the birth of Comet volleyball.

Head Coach Marci Sanders, hired in January to build the women’s program from the ground up, will have her squad ready for intercollegiate competition when the season opens Sept. 1 at home against Texas Wesleyan.

“We’ve got a good foundation and we’ve got kids who are anxious to learn,” Sanders said. “Our team dynamic keeps improving day by day. We have a very good base to start with.”

The team, comprised of six current students, four transfers and three freshmen, will play a full, two-month season and will host an American Southwest Conference crossover tournament Oct. 22 -23.

“Probably the hardest thing is the unknown,” Sanders said. “None of us is familiar with the conference so we have a lot to learn. We do have some inexperience, but we have a good core of transfer students.”

Sanders said she is not sure how successful her squad will be, at least initially.

“I think we’ve got some talented players and we have the potential to be competitive, but I won’t really know exactly what we’ve got until these girls get on the court,” she said.

Although several of the on-campus players have been working out informally since last spring, the team could not hold its first full-squad workout until Aug. 16 – less than two weeks

Win or lose, the girls are making a commitment to bring another form of athletic competition to campus and will try to make their games as fan-friendly as they can, Sanders said.

“There will be games for the fans and prizes will be given away. We’re going to do everything in our power to sell the program,” she said.

Sanders said her biggest goal for the inaugural season is playing together as a team.

“I think if we stay together, the victories will come,” she said. “The girls that are here now are here for the beginning, and they will play a big role in deciding how this program is built.”

The schedule for Women’s Volleyball can be found <a href=”http://cometsports.utdallas.edu/VBALL/schedule.htm”>here.</a>

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