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Rustler spikers aim for the top
Aug 12, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor
Recruiting class rated one of best ever at CWC
Central Wyoming College volleyball coach Tiffany Stauffenberg calls her 2012 recruiting class one of the better ones she has put together.
Stauffenberg is in her seventh season at the helm of the CWC program. The Rustlers are coming off a second-place regional finish last season, when they fell to Western Wyoming in the Region IX championship match.
The Rustlers opened practice last week with two-a-days at Rustler Gym.
"I'm very excited about the recruits that we have here," Stauffenberg said. "We have some good sophomores that show some great leadership."
First-year players for CWC are Jessica Foy (Gillette), Danielle Parker (Syracuse, Utah), Flavia Araujo (Brazil), Samantha Unruh (Salt Lake City), Marissa Cutts (Boise, Idaho) and Kelsi Davidson (Pavillion).
Returning players are Abigail Ehlers (Evanston). Dallas Horn (Bountiful, Utah), Kaitlyn Tracy-Eaton (Syracuse, Utah) and Ana Tenorio (Brazil).
"Between the two, I think that it's a good mix," Stauffenberg said. "In just the few days that we have been in the gym, I have seen a lot of potential."
The Rustlers focus the morning on conditioning. The afternoon practices are for scrimmage and working on drills.
"We need to get them in shape, but this is the first season that we ran the mile and everyone got the mile in time," Stauffenberg said. "That shows me that they have put in some time in getting in shape through the summer."
Stauffenberg's assistant coach this year is former CWC player Leticia Guimaraes.
Guimaraes was named All-American last season playing under Stauffenberg.
"I feel fortunate to have Leticia come back and help," Stauffenberg said. "She is very comfortable with the game."
CWC opens the season Aug. 31 in a two-day tournament in Salt Lake City. The Rustlers have six home matches for the 2012 season. The first one is Sept. 25 vs. Sheridan College.
Ehlers (5-foot-9) is set to play setter and right side for the Rustlers.
"Abigail did a lot of good things through spring ball," Stauffenberg said.
Horn is listed as 6-0 and will play in the outside hitting role.
"Dallas is a lot stronger than she was last year," Stauffenberg said. "She does well in the front well. We just have to get her to play in the back row. I don't like to use subs for my outside."
Tracy-Eaton (6-0) is a leader on the court for CWC.
"She had some injuries that slowed her down last year," Stauffenberg said. "I don't think that we have ever seen her true potential. She came back in great shape. She will either be in the middle or on the outside. I look for Kaitlyn to do a lot for us."
The 5-8 Howe plays in the front row.
"She is a short front-row player, so if we don't get the front row out of her then I want to use her to play in the back row," Stauffenberg said.
Tenorio stands at 6-5 and will play the middle position. Stauffenberg said Tenorio played all summer when she was back home in Brazil.
"When she came in there was a lot of work to be done," Stauffenberg said. "She has come a long way. She improved her mile time by two minutes."
Stauffenberg doesn't see Foy having any trouble making the jump from high school to college volleyball. Foy was a Class 4-A all-state volleyball player for Gillette.
"She is the best true libero that we have had at CWC," Stauffenberg said. "She is just a solid defensive player. She gets her hands on a lot of balls.
Parker has moved into a leadership position as CWC's setter.
"Danielle just stepped right in there and started to run the show," Stauffenberg said.
Unruh (6-0) had signed a national letter of intent to play at Coppin State but changed her mind.
"Coppin State had a coaching change," Stauffenberg said. "She got nervous and called to give me a second chance. She is a very good blocker. She reads the hitters very well. She is going to be our wall in the middle."
Cutts is another 6-footer for the Rustlers.
"She is very strong," Stauffenberg said. "She is solid all the way around. She is one of those that can be on the outside, right side or you can put here in the middle."
Davidson will be a setter or a libero under Stauffenberg.
"Kelsey has good hands," Stauffenberg said. "She has a great jump set. She has great serves. That is probably her strength."
Araujo is scheduled to arrive from Brazil on Monday for practice.