Sep 26, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTavia Young is ready for the Central Wyoming College Rustlers to have a home volleyball match this year.
After being on the road for the first five weeks of the season, the home opener for CWC is at 7 p.m. Friday against Laramie County Community College at Rustler Gym. The home weekend will end with a 3 p.m. match on Saturday against Eastern Wyoming College.
"I'm so excited to be at home," Young said after practice Thursday. "We have so many people who love supporting us. Hopefully, we can come out and win. We are just ready for something good to happen."
Young, a freshman, has stepped into a starting role on the outside for CWC.
"We have some amazing hitters and some great blockers," Young said. "People can expect very high intensity and some fast balls."
The Rustlers have put together a 9-12 record on the season so far.
"It has been tough, but we have been able to win some games," Young said.
In the road journey to start the season, CWC has played in tournaments in Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming.
"It has been five long weeks on the road," CWC coach Tiffany Stauffenberg said. "We have had some long trips in there. We are so ready to be at home. ... We are getting worn down."
The Rustlers split a pair of matches last weekend in a tournament in Torrington, when CWC beat Seward County Community College and lost to Barton Community College.
"We know that we haven't won matches when we haven't blocked," Stauffenberg said. "We can't rely on the back row so much."
The Rustlers have several new players adjusting to competition at the junior college level.
"We know that we have to play well on both sides of the ball," Stauffenberg said. "We don't have enough power hitters to rely on our offense. We don't put up a big enough block to rely on our defense. We have to be consistent in all parts. (But) we are getting there. We are finally passing the ball better."
She said CWC's new setters have shown improvement recently. Jordan Lebya moved from libero to setter this year, and Megan Cook is also playing at the setter position.
"That has probably been the biggest adjustment," Stauffenberg said. "The setter that I had recruited decided very late that she wasn't coming. (But) I thought after a good year of practice Megan would be able to run the show. She has had to do it from the very start."
CWC enters the weekend with a 0-2 mark in Region IX play after losing to Sheridan College and Northwest College earlier in the season. Casper College and Western Wyoming Community College sit in first place in the league standings with 2-0 records.
"It's very important that we get a conference win," Stauffenberg said. "You have to take advantage of every home game. When you go on the road they are tough places to play." LCCC is 1-1 in conference play and 5-8 overall. The school recently swept Eastern in three sets.
"LCCC has a new coach," Stauffenberg said. "They have been a little inconsistent."
She doesn't want to overlook LCCC, however. "I think that they are very similar to us in size," Stauffenberg said. "They have a couple of left-handers that are pretty good players."
Eastern Wyoming College is 0-2 in league play.
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