Aug 22, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorOpening the volleyball season against the defending national champion is the task the Central Wyoming College Rustlers face Friday at a tournament in Twins Falls, Idaho.
CWC challenges the College of Southern Idaho at 3 p.m. Friday.
CSI is ranked No. 3 this year in the National Junior College Athletic Associate preseason poll. CSI finished the 2012 season with a 33-1 mark on its way to the title.
"I want to play good teams early," CWC head volleyball coach Tiffany Stauffenberg said. "It will only make us better. This tournament will be tough. I think everyone will learn from it."
Stauffenberg has decided on a starting lineup for the first match of the year.
Megan Cook and Jordan Leyba will be setting the ball.
Maddie Kelley and Tavia Young are the outside hitters. Kiara Skinner and Samantha Unruh will be the middle blockers.
Kendra Falsey and Ashley Misinaqase play in the right side. Jess Foy Kohler is the libero.
"Early on, I'm hoping to get everyone in the match at some point," Stauffenberg said. "I have seen them all in practice. Now I want to see them in a game. Everyone plays different when it comes game time, so I want to see how they will respond."
"Now that we have the first week under our belt, it's been much smoother," Stauffenberg said. "We have a lot of new bodies, so everyone is learning. I have some very dedicated athletes that are working hard to make the transition."
The Rustlers started preseason practice the first week of August.
"Most of our practices have focused on defense," Stauffenberg said. "We continue to improve in our blocking and just being scrappy. Defense will win you matches. We don't have the power that we have maybe had in the past, but we will make it up on defense."
CWC has brought in 11 new players to the program.
"They have had a lot thrown at them the last few weeks, and they have been forced to learn so much," Stauffenberg said. "They came ready to practice each day and ready to improve. They know that we have a lot of players on the roster, so they are fighting for a position."
After playing CSI, the Rustlers go at 5 p.m. against Snow College.
CWC hits the court at 9 a.m. Saturday vs. USU-Eastern.
"We are deep this year with 14 on the roster," Stauffenberg said. "I will change up the lineup during the preseason to get the best on the court. I haven't always been able to do this. I will take advantage of having a lot of talent in all positions."
CWC participates in a Sheridan College tournament on Aug. 30-31.
"Team chemistry is so important, and I like where that is right now," Stauffenberg said. "There's a lot of positive energy with this group that I really like. When you put 16 different personalities together, you can just hope that they find the chemistry. I can say this group has."
2013 CWC volleyball schedule
Aug. 30-31 at Sheridan College tournament, TBA
Sept. 5, at Sheridan College, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6-7, at Sheridan College tournament, TBA
Sept. 10, at Northwest College, 7 p.m.
Sept. 10-12, at Scottsdale Tournament, TBA
Sept. 20-21, at Wyo-Braska Shoot-Out, TBA
Sept. 27, vs. Laramie County COmmunity College, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28, vs. Eastern Wyoming College, 3 p.m.
Oct. 3, vs. Casper College, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5, at Western Wyoming Community College, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18, vs. Sheridan College, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19, vs. Northwest College, 3 p.m..
Oct. 22, at Casper College, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24, vs. Western Wyoming Community College, 7 p.m.
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