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Oregon State volleyball

Philomath redshirt freshman Haylie Bennett says the Beavers are on a mission to make it back to the NCAA tournament.

"In 2014, they went to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament and we've been working toward that again," Bennett said this week. "Everyone's put their heads to it and we're all in. And we're going to go."

Head coach Mark Barnard said the first time, the Beavers have "quality depth" at each position.

"We've always had depth, but I think the quality of the depth is the key difference this year," Barnard said. "We're small, that's the only thing that's tough in the Pac-12 is we're not a big team at all. However, I think we make up for it in other areas."

Barnard believes the program's youngest players will have an impact.

"I think we've become a more well-rounded group this year, although we've got maybe some more freshmen that will be prominent, so we'll probably win some games we probably shouldn't and lose some we shouldn't as a result of that. But I think we've got as good of across-the-board strength as we've had in a while."

For Bennett, she's not feeling any grind in training camp, which started Aug. 8.

"Some days are harder than others, but practices are so intense and it's fun just to be out there playing," Bennett said. "Personally for me, I love being out there, so it's not hard for me to keep my enthusiasm up."

Tonight at 7, Oregon State will host its Orange & Black Exhibition at Gill Coliseum.

For a full feature story on Bennett with her views on how she's doing heading into her redshirt freshman season, see the Aug. 23 edition.



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