The following release is the first in a 10 part series on the 2003 Oklahoma volleyball team. Check SoonerSports.com over the weekend for an in depth look at the new transfers on the squad, while Monday will highlight the highly touted freshman class.
To view the complete 2003 volleyball roster simply scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Norman, Okla. - The Oklahoma volleyball program began training camp for the 2003 season with a new look and a refreshed attitude. The Sooners are rejuvenated thanks to the influx of new talent that hit the hardwood for the first practice of the season on Friday morning. OU head coach Kalani Mahi welcomed 10 newcomers into camp, as opposed to the five returning starters, and the initial returns have been very positive.
"We're very excited," said Mahi. "We have a lot of talented players and a lot of depth for the first time since I have been at OU. The anticipated impact of the 10 newcomers surpassed what we as a staff expected."
The Sooners began two-a-days this morning and will continue the rigorous training camp schedule for the next two weeks.
"We had great intensity and focus for the first practice of the season," said Mahi. "This team is the furthest along preparation wise, despite the lack of familiarity between the players, of any team I've had at OU. We are working just on volleyball during the preseason and conditioning through sport specific drills. It is a different approach from prior years because we want the team to get comfortable with each other on the court."
Kalani Mahi announced the addition of three transfers to the 2003 squad. Kelly McCarter, a senior setter from Arkansas with one year of eligibility remaining, will have the biggest impact as she immediately slides into the starting lineup as the floor general. Daphne Leach, who transferred from University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, brings a powerful arm to the outside and will challenge for starting time. Rounding out the transfers is Stephanie Tengram, who left Pittsburg State where she recorded a digs per game average (3.57) that would have ranked third in the Big 12 last season.
The Sooners are also breaking in early period signees Laura Tomes (Sioux City, Iowa), Joanna Schmitt (Deerfield, Wis.) and Anna Monsen (Stoughton, Wis.), along with late signing period additions Kelli Albers (Cheney, Kan.) and 6-4 juco-transfer Keri Coats (College of Southern Idaho). The highly touted recruiting class was ranked as high as No. 22 in the country and No. 4 in the Big 12 by Student Sports Magazine.
For the first time in Mahi's tenure in Norman he has the luxury welcoming talented walk-ons into the fold. Rachel Jackson, from Arlington, Texas, will compete with Monsen for time as back up setter. Connie Davis, who was one of Oklahoma's premier prep volleyball players in 2001, will bolster the Sooners offense on the right side.
"This morning was refreshing," said OU senior Christina Maynes about the atmosphere early in camp. "There is a raw passion on this team to go all out for everything. Sometimes new players get bogged down when learning a new system, but that didn't happen today. Everyone went out and just played hard."
|3||Leach, Daphne||Outside Hitter|
|4||Tomes, Laura||Middle Hitter|
|7||Maynes, Christina||Outside Hitter|
|8||Schmitt, Joanna||Outside Hitter|
|9||Mosso, Jennifer||Middle Hitter|
|11||Adams, Jennifer||Middle Hitter|
|13||Coats, Keri||Outside Hitter|
|14||Albers, Kelli||Outside Hitter|
|15||Werling, Sheena||Outside Hitter|
|16||Davis, Connie||Outside Hitter|