Aug. 10, 2000

NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma volleyball team completed a successful first full day of practice Thursday. The team, which officially reported Wednesday and encountered only an afternoon session of workouts, went through several practice sessions throughout the day, including on-court training, individual skills training and strength and conditioning periods.

Head Coach Kalani Mahi finished the day's workouts extremely pleased with the team's progress.

"The first day of practice met our expectations," commented Mahi, OU's first-year head coach. "We expected the returners to come in excited and ready to begin training and the newcomers to come in and begin transitioning into our program and fitting in."

Returning for the Sooners are five seniors, including 1999 Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Cathy Cook, and one sophomore. Joining the squad this year are four true freshmen and two experienced sophomore transfers.

Although the team will be welcoming six newcomers and adapting to a new system, according to Mahi, the team has already begun to achieve a sense of team unity.

"One of the biggest positives that we've seen in our initial workouts is good team chemistry, which is very important to the success of this team," noted Mahi. "Our team unity will really help with our ability to compete during the season."

"I'm excited for us to improve as our preseason practices progress," expressed Mahi. "If we continue to improve at this rate, we'll be a fun team to watch this year."

The team will continue full-day workouts until school begins on Monday, Aug. 21. Oklahoma starts the season on Friday, Sept. 1, at 11:30 a.m. against New Mexico State as part of the Lamar Tournament in Beaumont, Texas. The Sooners will open their home schedule at the OU Field House on Wednesday, Sept. 20, against Big 12 opponent Texas A&M at 7 p.m.