With the logo of the Western Athletic Conference on the floor and new scoreboard panels freshly installed, the Seattle University volleyball team began practice in the North Court of the Connolly Center Wednesday in preparation for the 2012 season.
Head coach Shannon Ellis was not present for the afternoon practice session, as she is close to giving birth to her third child. In her absence, Teron Uy will serve as acting head coach, and he will receive help from new assistant coach Ryan Newell as well as volunteer assistant coach Mike Bryant, who returns to Seattle University after stints at Washington, Idaho, Pittsburgh, and Evergreen State.
The Redhawks welcome 10 letterwinners back for the 2012 season, led by seniors Kelly Biette (Brighton, Colo.), Kaytlyn Dill (Bothell, Wash.), and Karina Miastkowska (Northbrook, Ill.). However, the team will need to replace redshirt sophomore Allie Hoskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.), expected to be the starting libero before suffering a season-ending knee injury during summer workouts.
Seattle U will be buoyed by the addition of six newcomers, all looking for a shot to make an immediate impact on the program. They will have about two weeks to show their skills before the team leaves for Wyoming and the first series of matches of the 2012 season.
After trips to Laramie, Wyo., and Pullman, Wash., as well as across town to Alaska Airlines Arena, the Redhawks welcome Long Beach State and Boise State to the Connolly Center for non-conference matches before starting the conference season. Seattle U will play 18 matches within the Western Athletic Conference, with the goal of finishing within the top eight in the league standings in order to qualify for the WAC Tournament Nov. 19-21 in San Antonio, Texas.
The accompanying photo album shows the team practicing serving and passing during the afternoon workout session.