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2012 Mustang Volleyball Season Outlook
High Expectations Brings Great Responsibility
The Western Wyoming Community College volleyball team enters the 2012 season with the Mustangs ranked #5 in the NJCAA Preseason Top 20 National Poll. Rick Reynolds, entering his 5th year as head coach, returns only one starter from the 2011 NJCAA National Championship Game. In total, five Mustangs return from 2011 as the program continues its pursuit of Region IX North Championships.
"These five sophomores have committed to leaving their legacy on this program," Reynolds stated. "They understand the expectations of this program are high and have embraced the responsibility of leading this program."
The Mustangs have added ten new faces to the sidelines at Rushmore. With players from Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Uzbekistan, Reynolds believes this group of freshmen will help bring the necessary talent and skills to keep the Mustangs at the top of Region IX North.
"This is a great group of freshmen," Reynolds mentioned asked about their impact. "I expect them to compete hard every day and bring their own identity to our program. They are all leaders and the best players on their high school and club teams. They have accepted the challenge of being a Mustang and the expectations we have of them."
Setters—Alexis Strom Alexis Strom (Casper, WY) and incoming freshmen Kathryn Mulnix (Fort Collins, CO) and Evelina Abdurakhmanova (Tahkent, Uzbekistan) will compete for playing time at the setter position. Strom returns from the 2011 season with the knowledge of the system and understands the expectations for the setter. She will be counted on to bring her passion for success while leading the offense. Mulnix is a strong setter and court leader. Abdurakhmanova is a tall setter with solid hands. Both are expected to compete right away for playing time.
Liberos—Two freshmen have joined the Mustangs to compete for the libero position. Cindy Davis (Idaho Falls, ID) and Ashley Hill (Las Vegas, NV) bring a lot of experience to the position and both are great athletes and competitors. Neither should be discredited due to lack of college experience as they both have the skills to be leader of the defense.
Outside Hitters— Alise Larsen (Highland, UT) is the lone returner at the outside hitter position. Larsen produced 84 kills while competing in 45 sets during the 2011 season. Joining the competition on the outside are three freshmen – Hannah Allred (Stansbury Park, UT), Jocelyn Harper (Blackfoot, ID), and Leah Heger (St. George, UT). All three bring a high level of experience, athleticism, ball control, and success with them to Western Wyoming and are expected to make an immediate impact on the court.
Right Side Hitters— Larissa Reynolds (South Weber, UT) returns this fall competing on the right side. After a season where she competed on both the left and right side of the court producing 61 kills in 41 sets, Reynolds is excited to focus on one position. Sadie Plemel (Rock Springs, WY) is a former high school middle who has a strong block and aggressive swing and push for playing time immediately.
Middles—Hannah Schorr (Uintah, UT) and Nicole Soifua (West Point, UT) are sophomores who are looking to make an impact. Schorr is returning from an injury that prevented her from participating this past spring. Soifua has moved to the middle from the right side and had a great spring learning the nuances of the position. Also in the middle will be a pair of freshmen Mallory Hunsaker (Heber City, UT) and Caitlin McInerney (Laramie, WY). The athleticism they both possess will make the competition in the middle fierce.
Quotes on the Upcoming Season from Head Coach Rick Reynolds
Outlook for the 2012 season…
"Our goals for this season are the same they have been since I took this position; win the Region IX North Championship and maintain a team GPA of at least a 3.3. With five sophomores and the ten new faces, I believe we have the ability to accomplish both of our goals. Expectations are high at Western Wyoming and we want them to be. Everyone is here because they accepted the challenge of competing at one of the top programs in the country."
On the goal of winning the Region IX North Championship…
“I set this goal for our team every year and we have been fortunate to win the region the last two years. I believe we have the talent and resources here to achieve this goal every year. The level of competition in Region IX is at an all-time high.”
On the expectations of the 2012 Mustangs…
"This is a brand new team with limited collegiate experience. Our focus will be helping them deal with the rigors of the collegiate game with the expectations of having success. We will do your best to help them deal with the competition we face early and teach them how to respond in tough situations. I am really excited about the potential we have but it's just that, potential. This team wants to leave their own legacy at Western Wyoming and our staff is doing everything they can to make sure they are prepared for what lies ahead."
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