BALTIMORE – Lots of newness was on display Monday afternoon as the 2015 Coppin State volleyball team made its first public appearance of the season during photo day.

There were fresh uniforms, a new coach, a different photo location as well as five newcomers. However, the highlight of the day, aside from the millions of selfies taken by the players, was the unveiling of the uniforms, which received more positive reviews than this weekend’s release of “Straight Outta Compton.”

In a social media world, the new blue-and-gold long sleeved jerseys are fire (just picture the fire emoticon at the end of this sentence). In the words of senior setter Chelsee Sauni, the uniforms are “fresh and tight.” The front of the uniforms feature black numbers and Coppin State outlined in white with a MEAC logo on the top left side of the jersey and a white Russell logo on the top right side.

“I love them,” Coppin State senior Denali Sturgeon said. “I like how it has blue-and-gold together and all of us really like them. They’re really nice.”

The Eagles even changed locations of their annual team photo, opting to take it on a stairwell in a different part of the Physical Education Complex. Overall, the Eagles enjoyed having some time away from game-planning, sweating and preparing for their season opener against Manhattan College in the Towson tournament on August 28.

The newcomers (Alexa Williams, Marlena Guice, Megan Lim, Samantha Polk and Glory Rosado) seamlessly fit in with the team as they danced, shared jokes, took plenty of photos and had a blast as they prepare to begin their Coppin State careers.

While they were looking forward to beginning their careers, seniors Sauni, Sturgeon, Cindy Okpegbue and Kendra Ireigbe were feeling bittersweet as this was this was their final photo day as Coppin State student-athletes.

“The bitter part is this our last time taking pictures together,” Okpegbue said. “The sweet part about it is we don’t have to get all dressed up within 20 minutes ever again.”

Added Sturgeon: “I feel like photo day is when it really sinks in that the season is about to start,” Sturgeon said. “I know we’re all excited to begin our journey.”

Coppin State will take flight this season under first-year coach Kyetta May, who spent the last three years at Arkansas-Pine Bluff and has built her share of championship teams in the past. Coppin State has seven returnees including juniors Elena Torres and Jasmine Burton and sophomore Bailee Jackson.

The Eagles were picked second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) preseason poll behind Howard. Sauni and Okpegbue were named to the preseason MEAC all-conference team. They both earned all-MEAC honors last season as they helped the Eagles advance to the conference semifinals for the second consecutive year.

“Today went well,” Sauni said. “It was different than what we were used to so that was good. We’re used to being in the arena. The players had a lot of say in the poses which was different as well. Overall, it was fun. We are super excited to begin the season and play against other teams.”

Once it hits the court, Coppin State will look photoshoot-fresh straight out of the pages from a style magazine.

Courtesy: Coppin State Athletics


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