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The Virginia field hockey team officially began practice last week and took to the field for a scrimmage Wednesday at Lafayette. The Cavaliers have 10 more days of training before opening the season at home Aug. 29 against William & Mary at the University Hall Turf Field.

Get Your Fitness On:
The Virginia squad opened the first practice of camp with their annual fitness test, which consists of 25 200’s. Eight players successfully competed the task on the first try: Shelly Edmonds, Alex Jahnle, Kaitlyn Hiltz, Inge Kaars Sijpesteijn (for the fourth time of her career), Lauren Elstein, Rachel Jennings and Paige Selenski.

Options, Options, Options: “I like that we have options,” Madison said of what she sees in training camp so far. “We have options on our set situations and more options when it comes to positions.”

First-Year Frenzy: Virginia welcomed seven first-years to training camp last Tuesday. These rookies include Alex Jahnle (Newton Square, Pa.), Rachel Jennings (Macungie, Pa.), Katie Knapp (Great Falls, Va.), Adrienne Ostroff (Philadelphia, Pa.), Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.), Michelle Vittese (Woodbury, N.J.) and Floor Vogels (Nijmegen, Netherlands).

“They are doing fine,” Madison said of her freshman class. “They are sponges and just trying to absorb information. They are making adjustments session every and that’s all we can ask for.”

My Favorite Thing:
Madison says her favorite part of training camp is when the players ask questions. One newcomer pointed out that she liked the seal and disliked the press.

“They are thinking and talking,” Madison said. “We have an inquisitive group that is very engaging. That is so important in learning and having all of us be on the same page.”

Successful Scrimmage:
The Cavaliers defeated Lafayette 1-0 in a scrimmage Wednesday in Easton, Pa. The contest consisted of three 25-minute periods. Pein Hulsebosch, a native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, scored the lone goal in second period on an assist from Kaars Sijpesteijn. Hulsebosch made her first appearance in a Cavalier uniform after she redshirted during the 2007 campaign.

“We had a chance to see some combinations and had some questions answered today.” Madison said of the scrimmage with the Leopards. “Ideally we would like to see every athlete play two positions, and we got to try some of that out. We need more practice on our set situations but we also haven’t done a lot of those yet. Now we can start specializing those to some degree.”

Spice on Year Three: The Cavalier coaching staff of Madison, associate head coach Chris Spice, assistant coach Alex Kyser and volunteer coach Christina Kirkaldy are all entering their third year with the program.

“We are trying to develop the game from where we were in year one to have more options and be more effective,” Spice said. “You can only do that when you get the talent base. We think we can develop a system to a greater extent. This year we have people who can play in different positions, but more importantly, we have speed. A lot of it is how we can better execute with speed.”

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