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CHARLOTTESVILLE – With anticipation building for the start of the 2011 season, the Virginia volleyball team officially opened practice on Tuesday (Aug. 9). The Cavaliers, in their fourth year under head coach Lee Maes, have 11 returning letterwinners and four first-year players on their 15-person roster.

The freshmen class features Morgan Blair (Morristown, N.J./TCA New Jersey), Tori Janowski (Sterling, Va./Metro America VBC), Sydney Shelton (Stockton, Calif./Rage VBC) and Abbey Welborn (Pasadena, Calif./Club Troy VBC).

Blair was a first-team all-state, all-conference and all-county in 2010 for West Morris Central High School, while Janowski was the Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year out of Flint Hill School and a two-time US High School All-American by Prep Volleyball.

Shelton was a four-time team captain and earned her team’s Most Valuable Player Award at Saint Mary’s High School, and Welborn was a captain, all-conference selection and two-time MVP at Maranatha High School.

These four prep standouts join a talented group of experienced Cavaliers, led by the senior class of Simone Asque (Chicago, Ill.), Hillary Trebels (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Tess Udall (Boulder, Colo.).

The Virginia volleyball season-opener is Friday, Aug. 26 against Western Michigan at Memorial Gymnasium. The match is part of the Marriott Cavalier Classic – also featuring Western Carolina and USC Upstate.

Prior to the tournament, fans can get their first look at the 2011 Cavaliers at the Orange and Blue Scrimmage – Saturday, Aug. 20 – at Mem Gym. Admission is free.

Here is a rundown of your options to maximize your Virginia volleyball experience during the preseason:

  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and the Volleyball Blog
  • Photo Gallery from UVa volleyball media day
  • Experience UVa Volleyball
  • 2011 Schedule and Season Tickets
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