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