UMW News BureauCoach Katie Howells is pleased with the progress of Bulldog volleyball as they prepare for the season opener at Montana Tech. By Wally Feldt University of Montana Western volleyball coach Katie Howells is pleased with what she saw in the first week and a half of practice, and her team had plenty of practice to prove themselves; the Bulldogs have practiced three times a day since since Aug. 10. Five starters returned from the 2008 squad including the Frontier Conference’s newcomer of the year Theresa Bennett of Dillon, Mont. “We are getting a lot accomplished,” Howells said. “From the first practice, the chemistry has been very good between our returning players and the transfers and freshmen. The players have worked very hard in every minute of every practice.” Howells will see just how far the Bulldogs have progressed with an intra-squad scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Straugh Gymnasium. “This is a good opportunity to evaluate our progress,” Howells said. “We need to develop our rotations for the season and the scrimmage is the perfect situation to see what works.” Montana Western opens the 2009 season on August 26 in Butte, Mont. with a non-conference match against Frontier Conference rival Montana Tech.