Friday morning, the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots opened their two-a-day practices, getting ready for a September 1st season opener.
The Patriots went 12-15 last year in their first ever season, and finished third in the Eastern Division of the American Southwest Conference. This year, coach Rachel Short is glad to have some experience returning to her team.
"It makes a huge difference to have the seniors returning," Short says. "They know a little bit more what went on last year. We were successful for a first year program, and I have seven starters back, plus a strong recruiting class. It's going to be an exciting year."
The team has their first game less than two weeks from the start of practice, which means workouts will be hard and heavy.
"We have to go hard," Short explains. "We have a limited time for practice before matches start. We go hard with conditioning in the morning, then we go into team practice in the afternoon."
"I want them to be the most athletic team in the game, and the most in-shape girls on the court."
U.T. Tyler's first ASC game will be September 14th, a home game against LeTourneau University.