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New changes for volleyball team

Women’s volleyball struggled in their 2009 season, particularly in away games. They went 10-20 overall and 4-16 in conference play.

At home, the Ospreys won five of their 12 games, giving them a 5-7 record inside the UNF Arena. Away games, on the other hand, proved to be a tough feat for the team. With a 1-11 record in away games, head coach Kevin Campbell had decisions to make for the team. Basically, who stays and who goes.

The coach has the right to decide if a player is producing the kind of results the team needs to excel. If the player does not produce results for the team, then her scholarship could be lost, and Campbell can cut her from the team.

“The team is allowed 12 full scholarships,” Athletic Director Lee Moon said. “The coach has to make tough decisions when transferring from non-Division I, to Division I.”

There are many reasons why athletes can lose their scholarships, and in this case this case, some did.

“There were individual issues with each of them,” Moon said.

UNF Athletics has been in the process of transitioning to division one for the past couple of years, and each sport is evolving.

“You have to recruit new players and that’s how you get better,” he said.

A total of six girls did not receive their scholarships back, although they were never explained why, leaving six spots to fill. There are only six positions on the court at a time, meaning a drastic, unusual turnover number.

“They titled it coach’s decision,” said Kaley Read, who lost her scholarship. “They never explained a reason, just that the program was going in a different direction, and the coach didn’t feel that we needed to be a part of the team anymore.”

Four new additions to the team may help their chances for the 2010 season. With the arrival of Anna Budinska, Kelsey Smith, Cameron McGuire and Britt Claessens, Campbell is excited to get to work.

Budinska is a 5-foot-9 outside hitter from Prague, Czech Republic. She played club ball for SK Kometa Praha for nine years. She also has extensive experience in beach volleyball, as well as track and field.

“Anna comes to us with a great depth of experience through her international club play,” Campbell said.

Smith is from Oregon, Wis. and specializes in defense. She stands 5-foot-5 and earned All-Conference Honorable Mention while helping Oregon High School to the regional semifinals her senior year. She also has experience in track and field.

“She is energetic and is an exciting defensive player. Kelsey will compete for playing time in that position as a freshman,” Campbell said.

The most recent to sign is the Vero Beach, Fla., standout Cameron McGuire. The 6-foot-1 outside hitter attended Saint Edwards High School where she set a school kill record with 797 for her career and 320 on her senior season campaign. Defensively, she had 397 digs for her high school career.

“Cameron is a very talented athlete, whose speed and jump ability will help our program move to the next level,” Campbell said.

Britt Claessens comes from Lake Mary, Fl., who was named the ESPN RISE Regional Athlete in her senior season at Lake Mary High School for the Southeast Girls region. “She will challenge girls for any position this season,” Campbell said.

“We are going to have a really competitive season, and we will be fun to watch with our fast offense,” Campbell said.

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