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Notebook: Viens makes professional debut with Sky Blue FC

Evelyne Viens celebrates after scoring against Washington in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 22. She made her professional debut with Sky Blue FC as a 77th-minute substitute in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup on Tuesday night. ORACLE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

Half a year after she was drafted by Sky Blue FC in the 2020 NWSL draft, former USF women’s soccer star Evelyne Viens finally made her professional debut.

She was brought on as a substitute for striker Ifeoma Onumonu in the 77th minute of Sky Blue’s 0-0 draw with OL Reign in the first round of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

Within her first few touches of the match, Viens worked her way into the opposition’s penalty area for an effort on goal but was denied a shot by Reign defenders.

Before the start of the tournament, Sky Blue head coach Freya Coombe spoke highly of their rookies, including Viens, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Without first-choice forward options, Coombe expects Viens to play a crucial role in the team for the remainder of the tournament.

Former UCF standout hired as assistant volleyball coach

It seems USF volleyball will be getting an insider from its rivals on the other side of I-4. Well, kind of.

Bulls head coach Jolene Shepardson appointed former UCF standout Jade Hayes as an assistant coach, the team announced Wednesday.

Hayes played libero for UCF from 2013-14 and was part of Knights’ AAC Championship team in 2014. She began her college career at Mizzou where she played for two seasons before transferring to UCF.

The 2013 AAC Second Team member recorded over 1,000 digs across two seasons with the Knights and ranks third in the all-time program record for digs per set with 4.25.

Before being hired by USF, Hayes was Missouri State’s assistant beach volleyball coach.

AAC moves headquarters to Texas

The AAC has a new home in the Lone Star State.

After seven years in Providence, Rhode Island, the conference moved its headquarters to Irving, Texas, on Wednesday.

The conference offices will be housed in The Summit at Las Colinas, a 19-story building just outside of Dallas.

“We are excited to begin serving our membership from our state-of-the-art office in Texas,” conference commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is a national epicenter for intercollegiate athletics and allows us to be geographically closer to many of our member schools as well as to the site of our men’s and women’s basketball championships.

Finding a central location was kept in mind in the search for a new city and building. After UConn’s official departure from the conference Wednesday, the previous headquarters wasn’t located anywhere near a member school.

“We chose The Summit because it is an attractive and well-managed building in a centralized location with easy access to the nearby airports, and to the desirable residential areas, restaurants and many cultural attractions in the region,” Aresco said. “We look forward to hosting the visiting membership.”