Aug 18, 2014 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorFirst up is a two-day tournament Friday and Saturday inR00;RockR00;Springs.
Central Wyoming College women's volleyball coach Tiffany Stauffenberg knows her eight sophomores need to play a big role for her on the court if the Rustlers want to be successful in the Region IX conference.
The eight sophomores are Jordan Leyba, Tavia Young, Abby Pomrenke, Megan Cook, McKensie Herold, Kayle Dahlke Kiara Skinner and Ashley Misinapase.
"With the group of sophomores that we have they are all great leaders," Stauffenberg said. "It has been any easy transition for the freshmen because they are following those sophomores."
The freshmen on the roster are Heather Townsend, Shay Schwab, Vennesa Caballero, Ashli Draney, Shelby McGuire, Kara Christensen and Tana Hoover.
The Rustlers started practice on Friday, Aug. 8.
Stauffenberg was named the Region IX coach of the year for the 2013 season.
"For the most part, we came back in shape," Stauffenberg said. "It has made preseason go pretty smooth."
The Rustlers are practicing three hours in the morning, then three hours in the afternoon.
CWC opens the season this Friday and Saturday at a two-day tournament at Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs.
Leyba, Cook, Schwab, Townsend and McGuire are all battling for playing time at the CWC setter position.
Schwab (Star Valley), Townsend (Douglas) and McGuire (Saratoga) were all standout Wyoming high school players.
McGuire also is in the running for defensive specialist (libero).
"That spot is up for grabs," Stauffenberg said. "Shay is a lefty and very athletic. I have been very impressed with her up to this point."
Leyba and Cook both set for Stauffenberg in 2013.
"It's very important to have a returning setter," Stauffenberg said.
Townsend tore her ACL last year at the start of the high school basketball season.
"I hope among the five setters, I can find two good ones that can run our offense for us," Stauffenberg said.
There is a chance Stauffenberg could rotate her setters in the first couple of preseason tournaments.
"You have to see them in a game like situation before you really know what they can do," Stauffenberg said. "I know what Megan and Jordan can do."
Skinner is a headline returner after being named all-region player in her freshman season.
Skinner is a middle blocker.
"She was one of the few that had those postseason awards," Stauffenberg said. "She is just smarter this year. She is making better decisions. She has always been one of the strongest players that I have coached."
Young played a year for the Rustlers on the outside.
"She has done some right side stuff for us in practice," Stauffenberg said. "She is so versatile that it would be an easy switch for us to go the right side."
Misinapase was on the roster in her freshman season.
"She has great leadership," Stauffenberg said. "She came back in shape. She played a lot of sand ball during the summer. We will see what do for us this year."
Christensen is a redshirt freshman.
"She is bringing in a year of experience from the practice side of things," Stauffenberg said. 'I look for her to have that other spot in the middle."
Pomrenke is one of three transfers who have joined the CWC program.
Pomrenke played last year at Salt Lake City Community College.
Pomrenke is from Rock Springs.
She will play on the outside in her sophomore season.
Herold played at an Iowa school. She graduated high school for the 4-A Evanston Red Devils.
"I wanted her right out of high school," Stauffenberg said. "She wanted to get away from her home state."
Herold played spring ball with her future CWC teammates.
Stauffenberg has put her at the libero position.
"Right now, I can't see her at any other position but that," Stauffenberg said.
"She gets her hands on a lot of balls. She has been very impressive."
Dahlke is the third transfer after playing for Hastings College in Nebraska.
Hastings is a four-year school. Dahlke was also on the track team there. For CWC she will be used on the outside.
"Right there it tells you how athletic this girl is," Stauffenberg said. "She is extremely strong. She has a great jump topspin serve. We are struggling right now to return it."
Hoover, who is listed at 6-foot-7, is showing signs of early improvement.
Hoover,from Payson, Utah, will play both basketball and volleyball while she is Riverton.
"In the few days that we have been together, it has been leaps and bounds already," Stauffenberg said.
"We have a hitting machine, and it has helped her tremendously. I see her more on the right side than in the middle."
CWC 2014 volleyball
roster with name,
grade, height, and hometown
Heather Townsend, freshman, 5-4, Douglas; Jordan Leyba, sophomore, 5-5, Thermopolis; Tavia Young, sophomore, 5-9, Ogden, Utah; Ashley Misinapase, sophomore, 5-10, San Leandro, Calif; Shay Schwab, freshman, 5-9, Star Valley; Abby Pomrenke, sophomore, 5-8, Rock Springs; Venessa Caballero, freshman, 5-3, Worland; Megan Cook, sophomore, Rock Springs; McKensie Herold, sophomore, 5-9, Evanston; Ashli Draney, freshman, 5-11, Pleasant Grove, Utah; Kalynn Dahlke, sophomore, 5-8, Hampton, Neb., Shelby McGuire, freshman, 5-3, Saratoga; Kiara Skinner, sophomore, 6-0,, Cody; Kara Christensen, freshman, 6-0, Guernsey; Tara Hoover, freshman, 6-7, Payson, Utah.
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