MOUNT PLEASANT - Coming off its first Mid-American Conference Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, the Central Michigan volleyball program opened its 2012 campaign with a pair of practices Wednesday.
The Chippewas, who return seven letterwinners and five starters, put together two intense practices in front of head coach Erik Olson, leaving him and his staff impressed.
"We're always excited to get to the first day of camp," head coach Erik Olson said. "We have pretty much hit milestones every season I have been here and we will continue to build and grow the program. Our goal is to get better every day and our players showed they want to do that with their intensity today."
The morning session included jump training and ball control, while the afternoon session saw the Maroon and Gold set standards for specific skills and work on defensive schemes.
Wednesday's practices introduced CMU's four incoming freshmen to the high-paced, up-tempo nature of CMU volleyball, something that coach Olson says is key to learning over the next 17 days before the Chippewas kick off the season at the Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites Invitational in Milwaukee, Wis.
"We're looking to become a team," Olson said. "That's a tall order to accomplish in five days, but we're working with our newcomers on speaking up and holding themselves, as well as others, accountable. The we before the me mentality is a big part of our program. If our group catches on to our philosophy, thesky is the limit, but we have to be ready to show up every day and deal with the little things that come along the way."
Be sure to stay tuned to CMUChippewas.com over the next 10 days for position and season previews as the Maroon and Gold embark on their highly anticipated 2012 campaign.