By Dan Ryan
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Professional teams deal with holdouts during preseason. College teams with incoming freshmen international students have to cope with holdups.
Two days before its 2012 season opener, the Bethune-Cookman volleyball team finally welcomed Phylecia Armstrong to campus after the freshman from Trinidad and Tobago cleared the chore of being of an international student. Armstrong's first practice with the team was Wednesday night.
"Paperwork, visa, it's a process within itself," said B-CU Head Coach Isaac Raphael. "Now she has to get acclimated with Daytona Beach and all her classes worked out. Mentally, she isn't on the court. The key is, everyone is here now"
Raphael doesn't expect Armstrong, a 6-2 outside hitter, to see action this weekend when the Lady Cats compete in the East Carolina tournament, but is expecting her to make a contribution in 2012
"She knows the rotations and plays we run," Raphael said. "She's very athletic - touches ten feet - and she has worked hard to get where she is at. She enjoys the pressure."
B-CU switches into regular season mode Thursday morning when the team travels to Greenville, N.C. The season opener is Friday against Charlotte at 4 p.m.
"I'm happy with the preseason turned out," Raphael said. "Now we see just how good we are with these non-conference matches.