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By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)

GREEN BAY, Wis. ( - After a long summer of anticipation the first year of the Michaela Franklin era is finally underway for the Green Bay volleyball program, as the new Phoenix head coach and her squad have officially begun practicing for the 2013 season.

"Our first practice started off very well," Franklin said. "There was a good energy going on in our gym. You can tell that our girls are very excited to be back and in the gym and starting to contact the ball."

Franklin set the tone right away in her first practice, demanding a high level of intensity at all times.

"What we talk about a lot is that you want to practice the way you're going to play," Franklin said. "We talk a lot about the championship behavior mentality, and in order to win matches you need to practice as a winner. The culture we're trying to set here as that you need to be intense every point, every ball, giving every effort on every single play."

Franklin and the Phoenix will hold a free open scrimmage at the Kress Center on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 3:30 p.m. Green Bay's first regular season match is on Aug. 30 against Northern Illinois at the NIU Invitational. Franklin, who was hired at Green Bay on Jan. 8, will lead a squad that includes 10 returners and three newcomers.


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