Sharman Hopes for Improved Start for Casper College Volleyball

Angel Sharman just wants her team to start the season healthy.

Early season injuries have derailed the Casper College volleyball team each of the past two years, although the Thunderbirds did recover to win the Region IX tournament and advance to nationals two years ago. Last year, however, the T-Birds were unable to overcome a 2-8 start as they finished 18-19 and lost in the quarterfinals of the Region IX tournament.

Last year’s efforts landed three Thunderbirds on the all-region team and three on the all-tournament team (Vivien Rechlin, Madison Legerski, Kira Schaefer, and Sydney Marchant all earned post-season honors).

“I want this year’s team to be in shape when they get here so we’re not dealing with injuries early in the season,” Sharman said. “So during the offseason I had them focus on their jump training to increase their verticals and their overall conditioning.”

The team will start the season with another tough schedule this year. They will be playing top pre-season ranking teams that will challenge them from day one. “We will need to find that team leadership,” Sharman says. “Along with that we need to communicate well on the floor.”

The T-Birds return just one starter in sophomore outside hitter Madison Legerski from Laramie, Wyoming. Still, Sharman believes Ali Hedlund, Jenna Anderson, and Kaitlyn Kaahaaina provide depth at the net, while Kacie Chinen looks to lock down the libero position.

Sharman expects incoming freshman Isidora Markovic, a 6-foot-2 middle blocker from Serbia; Ashley Seiler, a 5-foot-11 outside from Washington; and Kristina Seidle, 6-foot right side from Germany, “to be pretty dominant.”

As a whole, however, the T-Birds don’t have the height that they’ve had in recent years, especially at the setter position. Freshman Kiarra Johnson (5-9) and Breanna Mason (5-10) will replace the departed Vivien Rechlin, an all-Region IX setter of the year last season.

“We feel that this is a great freshman recruiting class. They are all capable of doing great things and we will have a difficult time deciding how to put players in the right position to make us great. This freshman group is going to be fun to watch and they are going to be very competitive, but they are going to need to grow fast,” said Sharman.

“I think we’re going to be a lot stronger defensively, but we might not be as tall as we have been in the past,” Sharman noted. “It’s a lot different from years past, but it’s something that we’re going to have to get used to.”

“I’m excited for this group and our goal is to be in the hunt for the regional tournament.”



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