Aug 27, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Central Wyoming College Rustlers came home with a 1-3 record Friday and Saturday to
begin the 2013 volleyball season in a tournament in Twins Falls, Idaho.
CWC knocked off Utah State University Eastern 25-16, 25-22, 25-22 for its victory.
The Rustlers lost to College of Southern Idaho 25-20, 25-21, 25-20. Snow College beat CWC 22-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-15. In a rematch Utah State University-Eastern beat CWC 25-19, 26-24, 29-31, 25-21.
CWC trailed USU-Eastern 14-4 before coming back to win the game 31-29.
CSI won the national title in 2012 and is ranked No. 3 in the junior college preseason poll. The match vs. CSI was the season opener.
CWC has 11 freshmen on the roster. The Rustlers are scheduled to be on the road for the first three weeks of the regular season.
"I thought the CSI match was one of our better starts to our season in the last few years," CWC coach Tiffany Stauffenberg said.
"With this many freshman on our roster, I expected a lot more nerves to take over. We played hard and very well at times. We made CSI earn their points. We didn't have a
lot of unforced errors, which you see with a lot of early jitters."
Stauffenberg said her players had good moments in all four of the matches played over the two days.
"We need to work on consistency and to stop runs early," Stauffenberg said. "Our ball control
improved throughout the weekend. It helps that we are deeper this year in the back row."
Jess Kohler, Kaycee Munn and Darby Lamb all saw time at libero for CWC.
Kohler played for Stauffenberg last season. Munn and Lamb are new players to the program.
The long set with USU-Eastern was the highlight for CWC.
"It went from our worst performance into our best performance," Stauffenberg said. "Everything started to click. They started playing well, with a lot of fight. This team doesn't give up easily."
All four opponents pushed CWC to the limit.
"Every team we played was full of talent," Stauffenberg said. "It was a great tournament to start with. We can learn from every match that we played. We know we have a lot to work on."
CWC played 13 players.
"If someone is struggling, I have subs that can come in,"
Stauffenberg said. "We don't lose ground."
Sophomore Samantha Unruh was a force for CWC in the middle. Unruh played a key role in the 2012 season.
"She's playing with so much confidence," Stauffenberg said.
CWC will practice on getting the setters more comfortable with the hitters.
"Our offense isn't where it needs to be after a month of practice,"
Stauffenberg said. "Our focus will be on offense this week before we head to Sheridan."
The Rustlers play this Friday and Saturday in a tournament at Sheridan College.
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