The Eastern Florida State College women's volleyball team has high hopes as they open the regular season on the road Tuesday evening.
The Titans have six players returning from a team that won 13 matches and the incoming freshmen have already made an impact in the preseason.
"This is my fourth team at Eastern Florida State College and it is by far my most athletic team overall," Eastern Florida State College women's volleyball coach Andrea Rasmussen Twelvetrees said. "This is also the deepest team we have had. We are three to five deep at every position and it has created a great, competitive atmosphere at practice every day as they are all pushing each other to excel."
The Titans will open the season at South Florida State College in Avon Park on Tuesday night before co-hosting the Indian River State College-Eastern Florida State College Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
The Titans are looking to speed up the offense this season and feel they have the pieces to be a much more balanced team this season.
"We have weapons on both pins as well as the middle, we are just strong everywhere," Twelvetrees said. Last season we were much more of a one-sided team, this year we have weapons in all three positions in all six rotations so there won't be a time that opponents can say, well the ball is going outside. They will have to be prepared for offense on all three positions."
Sophomore Delaney Smith will be the new libero for the Titans and has stepped in very well in the preseason.
"She has really taken that role in stride and is improving and showing great effort every day," Twelvetrees said. "She never hits the floor so that has been the running joke in camp. She stays on her feet so well and runs through the ball."
Smith joins Kylie Hurst and Rachael Gunn as returning starters and Summer Magliochetti, Barbara Cabo Grubisic and Jenna Barnak are also returning for the Titans this season but this is a much different team than last season.
"I could tell just from the first meeting that the chemistry was going to be good. Everybody wants to come in and work hard," sophomore Magliochetti said. "We have a lot of new girls that will help us this season, there are just a lot of weapons coming in."
But the Titans know it will be a tough road in a new conference, the Mid-Florida Conference.
"We have a great foundation of sophomores to build on and we have strong players at every position but we have stay on the same page and play together as a team," Twelvetrees said. "This is a tough conference but I think we are in position to perform well this year."