CORAL GABLES, FLA. – The University of Miami volleyball team will close its 2014 preseason camp with the Orange & Green Scrimmage on Friday.
The Orange & Green Scrimmage is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Knight Sports Complex. The event is open to the public and admission is free. The scrimmage will give the Canes a chance to compete before they begin non-conference play with next weekend’s Hurricane Invitational.
“We are all excited to get into a game-like environment,” Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara said. “We have had a good training camp to this point and have made some progress. Now we have a good opportunity to see if we can transfer what we have learned to game day. We have a competitive group. It should be a fun night.”
Savanah Leaf is one of seven returners from the 2013 squad that reached the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive season. The outside hitter is joined by Blair Fuentez, Alexis Mourning and Emani Sims in a senior class that Gandara will look to lead the Hurricanes in his second season in Coral Gables.
“It’s really exciting,” Leaf said. “I think we need to have a scrimmage to see where we are. It will be good to see the freshmen and transfers in a game situation. We can show our competitive spirit.”
Also returning for Miami are juniors Caitilin Donahoe and Misty Ma’a and sophomore Kelsie Groot. The trio is expected to make an impact for Miami as they look to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2014.
Kyrena Dudley, Sylvia Hernandez, Michele Marenus, Brooke McDermott, Taylor Scott, Sakile Simmons, Haley Templeton and Kalysta White make up the 2014 Miami volleyball incoming class. The eight newest Canes will don the orange and green for the first time on Friday night.
“We have a lot of newcomers, but they picked up on everything really fast,” Sims said. “I am excited for them to play in the scrimmage tomorrow and get used to the feel of things during pregame, warm ups, meetings and competing together.”
For McDermott and fellow Miami native Sylvia Hernandez, Friday’s scrimmage will be the first time they get to play collegiate volleyball in front of their family and friends and they cannot wait to
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” McDermott said. “Having my family to support me will be beneficial and make me feel comfortable. I am lucky to play at home. I know a lot of girls that play in college don’t have that opportunity.”
The 2014 season will be the second under the direction of head coach Jose "Keno" Gandara. A year ago, Gandara guided the Canes to a 19-12 (12-8 ACC) record that included a victory over No. 12 North Carolina on Nov. 3. Miami reached the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in program history, facing the Oregon Ducks in the first round on Dec. 6, 2013.