Aug 8, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorJess (Foy) Kohler, Samantha Unruh, Marissa Cutts and Asya Oguz will be asked to carry the leadership roles for the Central Wyoming College Rustlers as the new volleyball season begins.
The four are the sophomores on the 2013 roster for coach Tiffany Stauffenberg.
Her team started training for the season on Monday with two-a-day practices at Rustler Gym.
"I have a lot of experience returning," Stauffenberg said. "I look for these four to be leaders. They know the expectations for this program are high. I have confidence they will take on the responsibilities."
The Rustlers have hit the ground running in the first three days of practice.
"We have done a lot of playing in the first three days and not a lot of true practices," Stauffenberg said. "From what I have seen, I'm excited. I think that they are excited."
The Rustlers concentrate on workouts in the morning and then scrimmaging in the afternoons.
"Everything is coming together," Stauffenberg said. "We are working on chemistry more than anything right now."
Stauffenberg said her players stayed in shape over the summer.
"They seem like they have done something over the summer," Stauffenberg said. "That is always bonus."
CWC has 15 players on the roster.
"We have a lot of freshman that are here," Stauffenberg said. "I like the 15 players that I have. It might be one of those years where I do some redshirts. I'm going to play it by ear and see how things go. I like the larger numbers."
The Rustlers are looking to bounce back after last fall, when officials discovered two players were ineligible to participate in National Junior College Athletic Association sports.
As a result, CWC had to forfeit all of its women's volleyball victories for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons and was not permitted to play in last year's Region IX 2012 volleyball tournament.
"We are extremely excited to begin the academic year and athletic seasons," CWC athletic director and assistant dean for student services Steve Barlow said. "We look forward to having community support for our volleyball, rodeo and basketball teams against this year.
The campus community is excited to have the volleyball team back on campus, as they began practicing this year. It's going to be a great year."
"We are working on all parts of the game," Stauffenberg said. "The college game is a lot quicker than what so much these guys are use to.
We have to get them to understand the level of play as competitive as I want them to be."
Stauffenberg hired Nancy Irvine as the assistant coach.
"We are very excited to have her on board," Stauffenberg said. "She brings so much energy and is so motivated. Nancy has put in a lot of time with the program already. She has volunteered many of times in the last six years. She is one of the first ones in the gym to our matches. CWC volleyball isn't new to her."
Kohler plays in the libero position.
Unruh is a middle blocker. Cutts is an outside hitter. She is primarily used on the right side.
Oguz is an outside hitter for the Rustlers.
"They all improved throughout the spring," Stauffenberg said. "They will lead the younger players and help us get the chemistry that we need early on."
The Rustlers begin the season Aug. 23-24 at the College of Southern Idaho tournament.
"It will take that much time before we get on the same page," Stauffenberg said.
"I think that this group is going to be a good fit together."
At the opening tournament, CWC play College of Southern Idaho, Snow College and College of Eastern Utah.
Southern Idaho won the 2012 national junior college volleyball title.
"This tournament will show our new players the type of teams you have to beat in order to reach your goal of a Region IX championship," Stauffenberg said.
CWC will be in a Sheridan College tournament on Aug. 30-31.
"A tough schedule will prepare them for what is to come," Stauffenberg said.
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