Lady Trojans take the court in 2015
The Lady Trojans took to the court for the first time in 2015 at the Lamar Tournament in Lamar, Colorado over the weekend. New coach Melissa Hardman and her Trinidad State team faced four tough challenges, matching up with a pair of Kansas teams on Friday and a pair of schools from Texas on Saturday. The Trojans played well in every game, returning home with a 1-3 record.
The first match on Friday pitted the Trojans against Dodge City Community College. TSJC got off to a slow start dropping the first couple of sets before responding to take the third set 25-21. They then dropped a hard fought fourth set 25-23. Sophomore standout Hannah Reynolds led the Trojan attack with eight kills and Dorian Ray had 40 digs from the Libero position. Up next was a matchup with Butler Community College. The teams battled through five grueling sets before the Grizzlies finally prevailed 15-11 in the final set to take the win. Reynolds again was the big hitter for the Trojans with 16 kills, this time joined by fellow sophomore Danna Denson who finished with nine.
On Saturday the Trojans came out fired up and rolled past Cisco College in straight sets for their first win of the season. The Trojans took the match by scores of 25-18, 25-15 and 25-20. Setters Emmy Gazaway and Jordin Hanley combined for 40 assists in the match and Rachel Pirtle had nine kills and five blocks. In the final game of the tournament the Trojans fell to Frank Phillips despite another strong performance by Reynolds who finished with eight kills and ten blocks.
Coach Hardman felt her team came out a bit timid on Friday but turned it around on Saturday playing with a great deal more passion, “The girls started off slow on Friday, but came out ready to go on Saturday. They fought hard and never gave in, for which I am proud. We head to McCook this next weekend and I am excited to see how we do!”
The Trojans have a difficult schedule for the rest of August. They play in a series of road tournaments before finally getting to play in the friendly confines of Scott Gym in late September.
McGill moving on to NCAA DII UNC Pembroke
Coach Ellen McGill will be taking over the coaching duties at NCAA DII UNC Pembroke this spring.
Coach Ellen McGill will be leaving Trinidad State after six successful seasons at the helm of the Trojan Volleyball team. McGill is making the jump to NCAA Division II, where she will take over as head volleyball coach at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
McGill turned around the Trojan volleyball team during her stay in Trinidad leading the Trojans to a 25-12 record this past season, the best winning percentage in team history. Her teams excelled both on the court and in the classroom. She coached 15 all-region and 25 academic all-region players, as well as eight national academic award winners. Twice her Trojan teams were awarded with national academic honors from NJCAA. During her time in Trinidad she was also active with the women’s basketball program, assisting Coach Rich Holden for the past five years.
“We felt very fortunate that Ellen committed to coaching our volleyball team six years ago,” praised Holden, who also serves as Athletic Director and Golf Coach at TSJC. “She has moved our program to a great place, a place that very few Junior College programs are ever able to achieve. Her commitment to Trinidad State Junior College was a pleasure to observe over the past six years. She is not only a great coach, but also a great person as well, she and her husband Mitch will truly be missed.”
McGill leaves a strong program behind in Trinidad with over ten returning freshmen and a strong recruiting class. The college is now undergoing the difficult task of finding a suitable replacement to lead the Trojans this fall.
The Athletic Department at Trinidad State wishes Coach Ellen McGill the best as she takes over as the head coach of the Braves.
Volleyball awards announced
One of the most successful volleyball seasons in Trinidad State Junior College history wrapped up in early November. The Trojans finished the year with 25 wins, the most since the 2002 squad that went 39-19. TSJC also finished with a .676 winning percentage and six more victories than last season.
The success was due in large part to great team play from the twenty-person roster, but there were individuals who earned regional honors. Four Lady Trojans made the All-Region team and three more were named All-Tournament. Named first team All-Region IX were Taylor Mansfield, Rylee Abert, McKinley Romp and Hannah Reynolds. Making the Region IX All-Tournament team were Mansfield, Reynolds and Nicole Goddard.
Trinidad State’s Taylor Mansfield and Rylee Abert, joined by Coach Ellen McGill, recently signed to move on to the next level. Mansfield will be heading to NCAA DI University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and Abert will be going to NCAA DII Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
Taylor Mansfield was a force on the outside the past two years at TSJC. Hailing from Rye High School, she was named All-Region and All-Tournament both years at Trinidad State. She finished this season with 239 kills and 102 blocks. Mansfield will be taking her talents to the Panthers of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee next season.
Also coming to TSJC from Rye High School was Rylee Abert. Abert was a dominant player in the middle these past two seasons recording a team high 143 blocks this fall to go with 103 kills. Her 261 career blocks rank her sixth all-time at TSJC. Abert was named Academic All-Region as a freshman. She has signed with Oklahoma Panhandle State University joining former Trojan Megan Archuleta playing for the Aggies.
McKinley Romp was already in the TSJC record book for digs, service points and service aces from her freshman year. She added to those numbers this season moving into second all-time with 1161 career digs and 969 service points.
Hannah Reynolds is a freshman from Parker, Colorado. She too did a great job patrolling the net this fall. She finished the year with 265 kills and 121 blocks, second on the team in both categories. Reynolds also entered the TSJC record books becoming first all-time in hitting percentage for a season.
Trinidad State’s All Region IX selections in volleyball – Rylee Abert, Taylor Mansfield, Hannah Reynolds and McKinley Romp.
Nicole Goddard came to TSJC from Johnstown, Colorado. The freshman led the Trojans with 279 kills this season to go with 396 digs. She put her name in the record books with 521 service points, third all-time and the most ever by a freshman.
“I was very proud of our team this year,” praised Coach Ellen McGill. “We reached many of the goals we had not been able to achieve in the past, things like sweeping home and away matches and total wins. It is going to be extremely hard to replace this great group of sophomores. They were great leaders on and off the court.”
The Trojans will lose seven sophomores. Besides Abert, Mansfield and Romp TSJC will lose setter Jennifer Morris and hitters Nikita Nelson, Leia Zagone and Madison Scheppler. All seven played a large number of sets this season and will be difficult to replace. The Trojans will return a solid group led by Goddard, Reynolds and setter Jordin Hanley. Coach McGill already has a good group signed for next year as well.
Lady Trojans wrapping up regular season
Leia Zagone soars high for a kill against Air Force Prep. The sophomore has been outstanding for the Trojans with 179 kills and 64 blocks this season. (photo-Matt Young)
The regular season is wrapping up and the Trojan volleyball squad already has more wins this year than any TSJC team since 2002. At 21-10 the Lady Trojans have been playing great volleyball but are still hungry to finish the season on a high note and head into the Region IX tournament with momentum on their side. They will face Lamar on Saturday and Otero next Tuesday, both at home, to wrap up regular season play.
This past weekend Trinidad topped Frank Phillips in four sets by scores of 25-15, 19-25, 25-20 and 25-18. Led by a solid group of sophomores the Lady Trojans have won seven of their last ten and are currently in third in the Region IX standings.
McKinley Romp is 11th in the nation in serving aces this season. She also has 534 digs, giving her over 1000 career digs, which is second all-time in the TSJC record books.
McKinley Romp is leading the team with 534 digs and 55 aces, while setter Jennifer Morris is leading the way with 454 assists. Rylee Abert has been a force at the net with 121 blocks this season and Taylor Mansfield, Madison Scheppler and Leia Zagone have combined for nearly 400 kills. Nikita Nelson, who was injured earlier this year is coming on strong with 153 kills and 213 digs.
The freshmen have stepped up as well with Nicole Goddard leading the team in kills with 233 and Hannah Reynolds second in blocks with 103. Jordin Hanley is second in assists with 372.
This Saturday the Trojans (21-10, 4-4) will face Lamar (7-23, 2-6) at 1 p.m. at Scott Gym. Next Tuesday, October 28, the Trojans will play their final home match of the year when they face Otero (14-18, 0-7). The first volley will be served at 7 p.m. with the sophomores being honored before the contest. It is also Booster Club Appreciation night meaning the TSJC Booster Club will be handing out free hot dogs.
Volleyball getting ready for Region play
Jennifer Morris (3) puts the ball up high for Hannah Reynolds during the Trojans 3-set win over the Huskies on Tuesday night. (photo-Matt Young)
The Lady Trojan volleyball team is off to its best start in years as they moved to 11-6 after making quick work of Air Force Prep on Tuesday evening. The Huskies took the Trojans to four sets earlier this season, when the two teams faced off in La Junta, but this time it was all TSJC. Trinidad won by scores of 25-13, 25-17 and 25-20.
Eighteen Trojan players saw action in the contest with everyone putting up good statistical numbers. Overall, Nikita Nelson led the way with 12 kills in the contest and McKinley Romp finished with 13 digs. Freshmen setters Emmy Gazaway and Jordin Hanley combined for 25 assists, and Mariah Michael, Rachel Pirtle and Madison Scheppler each had three blocks.
“It’s great to get a win at home,” commented Coach Ellen McGill. “It was a great team win for us. We played well together and showed a lot of depth within our team.”
Taylor Mansfield was selected to the Pizza Hut Invitational All-Tournament team last weekend. (photo-Matt Young)
Last weekend the Lady Trojans were in Sterling, Colorado for the 31st Annual Pizza Hut Invitational. The long running tournament showcases many of the powerhouse teams in the Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska areas. Trinidad went 2-2 on the weekend defeating Sheridan College and Laramie County CC but falling to North Platte CC and Northeast CC.
Sophomore Taylor Mansfield was named to the All-Tournament team for her outstanding play. She had 26 kills and 11 blocks over the two-day event. “Taylor has been a tremendous leader for us this year,” said McGill. “She is very deserving of the All-Tournament award. She has worked hard in the off-season and this season so she could step up for the team in the big way. We are proud of her.”
The Lady Trojans play a tri-match this weekend before starting up Region IX play with a northern swing next weekend. They will start in McCook, Nebraska on Thursday facing off with the 4-14 Indians. On Friday they will return to Sterling to face 7-8 Northeastern Junior College and then on Saturday they will be in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to face #5 Western Nebraska (9-3). The team doesn’t return for a home game until October 9 when they face McCook.
Volleyball wins sixth straight
Trojan sophomores Taylor Mansfield (left) and Rylee Abert have helped shut down teams at the net. (photo-Matt Young)
The Trojan volleyball squad has been on a roll winning eight of their last ten and six straight overall. The streak includes Tuesday night’s three-set win over Colorado Christian JV in the Lady Trojans home opener. The JV team was no match for the Trojans who took the match by scores of 25-14, 25-8 and 25-14.
Sophomores Leia Zagone and Taylor Mansfield led the attack against the Cougars combining for 16 of the Trojans 33 kills. Jennifer Morris had 15 assists, and Rylee Abert contributed six blocks.
Statistically for the Trojans on the season Zagone, Mansfield and freshman Nicole Goddard all have over 89 kills. Morris and Jordin Hanley have handled a majority of the setting duties with 169 and 167 assists respectively. Libero McKinley Romp has led the team in digs with 196 and service aces with 26, a stat which currently has her ranked fourth in the nation. Abert is seventh in the nation in blocks with 56. The team overall is currently ranked fourth nationally in blocks.
Leia Zagone has provided a spark for the Trojans early in the 2014 season with 94 kills, 25 blocks and 108 digs. (photo-Matt Young)
“We have a solid group of athletes this year”, commented Coach Ellen McGill. “We have a solid group of returners and a good group of freshman who are stepping up for us. I am excited that we have a lot of depth on the team this year. I think we are finally starting to gel as a unit on the floor and find our groove. We have been focused on our offensive execution and competing on every play. It’s exciting to get that first win at home, but we need to stay hungry for more.”
This weekend the Trojans will play in their most difficult tournament so far when they travel to Sterling to face Sheridan (7-3), Northeast (5-4), North Platte (7-4) and Laramie County (14-0). The Trojans will then return for a match on Tuesday evening, September 16, against Air Force Prep at 4 p.m.
Volleyball scrimmage is fun time for everyone
Nine former Trojan Volleyball players returned to campus for the 2014 Alumni scrimmage. They are (front row – L-R) Shervonn Johnson, Amber Velasquez, Ashley DiPaola, and Vanessa Gonzales. (back row – L-R) Laurita Atencio, Shelly Jones, Stephanie Hunnel, Shelby Walker and Chelsea Butler.
The fourth annual Volleyball Alumni scrimmage got the 2014 semester off to a great start as a large crowd turned out to watch the 2014 Trojans face off with Lady Trojans from the past. Nine players returned for the event to play three, best-of-three, contests with various lineups from the 2014 team.
Returning for the event were a pair of standouts from the past two seasons, Shelby Walker from Des Moines and Vanessa Gonzales from Trinidad. Also appearing at the event were Chelsea Butler (2010-2012), Laurita Atencio (2006-2008), Shervonn Johnson (2009-2011), Stephanie Hunnel (2010-2012), Ashley DiPaola (2006-2008), Amber (McPhail) Velasquez (1994-1996) and Shelly Jones (1987).
“We had a great turnout for the event,” commented Head Coach Ellen McGill. “It was great to see so many of the Alumni return. This scrimmage is so much fun. It is a great learning experience for our players to face off against some of the former players who’ve already been through the program. We hope to continue growing this event. It is getting better every year.”
The 2014 Trojans will now prepare for their season opener in Lamar this Friday when they face Butler Community College from Kansas. Trinidad will play their first home game on the evening of Tuesday, September 9 against Colorado Christian.
Volleyball standout Hendrick joins Skyhawks
Rachel Hendrick goes up high for a spike against Lamar in the Region IX Tournament this past November. Hendrick has moved on to Fort Lewis to continue her volleyball career.
Following two great seasons playing outside hitter for the Lady Trojan volleyball team Rachel Hendrick is taking her talents to the next level as she recently transferred to Fort Lewis to prepare to play for the Skyhawks this fall.
Rachel is a two-time Region IX first-team selection. She finished her career at TSJC with 647 kills, 21 aces, 91 blocks and 605 digs. She came to Trinidad from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“I feel fortunate that Rachel chose to attend Trinidad State for her first two years,” commented Trojan volleyball coach Ellen McGill. “She has been such an impact player for us over the last two seasons and has been a tremendous leader for us as a captain. It is one of my goals to have players moving on to play at the next level. We are so proud of Rachel and her opportunity to continue her career at Fort Lewis.”
Rachel will join a Skyhawk team that finished the 2013 season 10-18 overall and 10-9 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Lady Trojans wrap year in third
Shelby Walker stuffs a shot at the net during the Region IX Tournament. Walker is second all-time in blocks at TSJC (photo by – Matt “Moose” Young)
The Lady Trojan volleyball squad made a run through the Region IX Tournament in early November to wrap up the 2013 season with a third place finish. The Trojans came into the tournament in fourth place, but playing inspired ball in front of their home crowd, moved past Otero and into third. Western Nebraska went on to win the tournament.
TSJC, hosting the tournament for the first time since 2007, took advantage of the home court advantage and the loud partisan crowd to defeat Lamar in five sets in the opener. The following morning the Trojans fell to nationally ranked Western Nebraska. Working their way back through the losers bracket the Trojans defeated McCook and Otero before falling in four sets to Northeastern Junior College. Three Trojans were named All-Tournament including sophomores Shelby Walker and Vanessa Gonzales as well as freshman Taylor Mansfield.
The Trojans had a good year overall finishing with a 19-22 record. Sophomore Rachel Hendrick joined Walker and Mansfield on the All-Region IX Team.
Vanessa Gonzales sets the ball during a game earlier this season. Gonzales is now on top of the service points for a career record book with 989 points in two seasons (photo by – Matt “Moose” Young)
2013 again saw many Trojan players threaten top spots on the all-time records list. Shelby Walker challenged the longest standing record in the books, that being career blocks held by Judy Glassman from back in 1993-94. Walker fell short of the top spot but moved into second all time with 291. Freshman libero McKinley Romp made her way into the books in the categories of digs, services aces and service points.
Vanessa Gonzales fell just shy of the all-time assists list but did make it all the way to the top of the service points for a career record book with 989 points in two seasons. Megan Archuleta also climbed up the career board for service points with 715 in her two years.
The Lady Trojans will see seven sophomores moving on with many of them heading to four-years schools to continue their careers. Finishing up two seasons for the Trojans are setter Vanessa Gonzales, defensive specialist Claire Cusack, libero Megan Archuleta, middle Shelby Walker and outsides Rachel Hendrick, Cedar Rain Yellowmule and Taylor Hiss. Coach Ellen McGill will attempt to replace these graduating sophomores as the Trojans reload for a run at the top two teams in Region IX next year.
Trojans prepare for tournament
Vanessa Gonzales prepares to lead the Trojans into this weekend's regional tournament. TSJC will play Lamar in the first round on Thursday evening at 7pm.
2013 Sophomore Night
2013 Lady Trojan sophomores - From left to right - Taylor Hiss, Cedar Rain Yellowmule, Megan Archuleta, Shelby Walker, Vanessa Gonzales, Rachel Hendrick and Claire Cusack
Volleyball Media Guide
Volleyball prepares for regular season
The Trojan volleyball squad has been hard at work since early August but the “real” season is set to begin this week as TSJC will host three Region IX opponents. The Lady Trojans enter region play with a 10-11 record. They are on a three-game win streak and undefeated at home.
The Trojans are led on the court by sophomore setter Vanessa Gonzales. Gonzales has 473 assists this season to go with 14 service aces. Middle Shelby Walker is sixth in the nation with 95 blocks and leads the team with 176 kills. Rachel Hendrick is second with 161 kills. Hendrick was also named all-tournament earlier this season at the prestigious Pizza Hut Invitational in Sterling. Freshman McKinley Romp is currently second in the nation with 43 aces and Megan Archuleta is in the top 20 in digs.
Rylee Abert stuffs a shot during the Trojans four set victory over Clarendon this past weekend. (photo by – Matt “Moose” Young)
“We are starting to gel and come together as a group,” commented Head Coach Ellen McGill. “We have always been a family off the court but now we are starting to put everything together on the court. We have some players to who are really starting to turn it on and step up when we need it. This is the most talented group of athletes that I have had, since I took over the program. We have a lot of potential to do some great things in regional play.”
The Trojans will get their region schedule going on Thursday evening when they face McCook (1-19, 0-1) at 7 p.m. at Scott Gym. The Trojan Booster Club will be handing out free hot dogs to everyone in attendance and the first 100 fans in will receive a free backpack. On Friday evening Northeastern (10-5, 0-0) will face the Trojans at 7 p.m. and on Saturday perennial powerhouse Western Nebraska (21-1, 1-0) will take the court against Trinidad at 1 p.m.
The region games are all important, as seeding for the Region IX Tournament in November will be determined by the games over the next month. Trinidad State is hosting the tournament November 7, 8 and 9.
“We are excited about the opportunity to host the Region IX Tournament,” said McGill. “We have a huge home court advantage and this will give a good chance to go deep in the region tournament.”
Trojans open home season Sept 21
The Lady Trojans will play their first home games of 2013 on Saturday, September 21 when they host Clarendon and Colorado Christian. Games will start at 11 a.m. with the Trojans taking on the Bulldogs from Clarendon, Texas. At 1 p.m. the Bulldogs will face CCJV. The games will wrap up with the Trojans taking on CCJV at 3 p.m.
Alumni Scrimmage set for Saturday
Sophomores Shelby Walker and Vanessa Gonzales work together the first week of practice on the new floor at Scott Gym
The 2013-2014 sports season officially gets going this Saturday, August 16, with the third annual Trinidad State Alumni Volleyball tournament. The 2013 Lady Trojans will take on players from the past in a series of games starting at 1 p.m. at Scott Gym.
Returning to play for the alumni will be Sydney Wilson, Shelly Jones, Morgan Smith (Cahoy), Alyssa Hernandez (Thompson), Chelsea Butler, Kaylee Steffner (Johnson), Phoenix Bright (Morgan), Jillian Wilkins, Ashley DiPaola, Lauren Gadeken, Molly McHenry and Amber Velasquez.
The 2013 Lady Trojans return a balanced group with seven players returning from last year’s squad that finished the year 19-21. Returning for the Trojans will be setter Vanessa Gonzales, defensive specialist Claire Cusack, libero Megan Archuleta, middle Shelby Walker and outside hitters Cedar Rain Yellowmule, Rachel Hendrick and Taylor Hiss.
Joining the team this season will be setter Jennifer Morris, middle Madison Scheppler, outside hitter Taylor Mansfield, right side Leia Zagone, middle Rylee Abert, outside hitter Nikita Nelson and libero McKinley Romp.
the 2012 Alumni were all smiles prior to taking the court at the second annual tournament
Coach Ellen McGill, entering her fifth year leading the Trojans, has high hopes for this year’s team despite losing a great deal of talent to graduation last year. McGill said about this year’s team, “we have an energetic group this year that are passionate about the game of volleyball. I am excited to see where the season takes us and the challenges that lay ahead.”
Saturday’s scrimmage contests will be the first chance for the public to see the improvements made to the facilities at Scott Gym. Admission for this special event is free to the public. Come watch some great volleyball with lots of smiles as the alumni return to TSJC.
Lady Trojans Set to start Season