Volleyball hoping hard work pays off

By Mike McNeely published August 18, 2003

This summer, while most of us were still nestled soundly asleep in our beds, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team was hard at work.

At 6:00 a.m., four days a week, the team met in the weight room for strength and conditioning. Along with lifting weights and running up hills, the team also did Plyometric workouts to help with their speed and jumping.

While getting up with when the sun is rising isn't exactly her idea of a good time, Junior blocker Desiree Myhre knows it paid off.

"It was rough, but in the end, it definitely was worth it. We are all better players now," said Myhre.

Head Coach Tara Miller agrees.

"Every one of our players have improved 100% from last year," said Miller who is entering her second season as the Mountain Lions' coach.

Myhre will be the foundation of the team's frontline. Last season Myhre led the team in kills with 339 and received All-RMAC honorable mention honors."(Myhre)is one of the best middles in the conference, and with the support we have around her, we wont have to depend on her as much this year."

That support includes redshirt-freshman Caroline Ottino who will join Myhre in the middle. Ottino is a hard hitter who spent the summer working on the technical aspects of her swing.

On the outside will be Linnlee Hansen. A co-captain and a strong finisher, Hansen will provide the Mountain Lions with leadership on the floor. "She is our pillar of strength out there," said Miller.

Kelly Olson will be back as well after a blood disorder forced her to sit out last season. In 2001 Olson had a 130 kills and 38 blocks as a sophomore. She has the talent to be one of the better hitters in the conference.

Completing the team offensively will be sophomore right side Kristen Denman. Miller feels Denman may be the most improved from last year, doing "a complete 360 from last April."

Senior Olivia Rudolphi and freshman Jill Wren, who both have big blocks, will provide frontline depth off the Mountain Lions' bench.

Lindsey Hillegass will be the team's setter. Hillegass is quick, has tremendous hands, and will be one of the team's best defensive players. She spent last season at Tarleton State where she led the TexAnns and ranked second among freshman in the Lone Star Conference in assists per game with 9.99. "She is a smart setter, who makes good decisions," said Miller, "She will give us the consistency that we've needed."

Freshman Maria Schnell, who is also very quick on her feet, will be the back up.

Senior Jessica Hollingshead will be the key to the defense. Hollingshead is the team's most consistent passer and is also a co-captain. "Her leadership will be very important to us," said Miller.

Freshman Amanda Szentmartoni's quickness and versatility give her the potential to play different positions off the bench.

With all the work that has been done and all the improvement that have been made Miller is really looking forward to getting the season started.

"We have enough talent to compete and do well this year, but the work doesn't stop now."

And it won't. CU-Colorado Springs will continue to meet at 6:00 a.m. everyday for practice.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Olivia RudolphiOlivia Rudolphi1SSr.
Olivia RudolphiOlivia Rudolphi1S
Kelly OlsonKelly Olson2OHSr.
Kelly OlsonKelly Olson2OHJr.
Kristen DenmanKristen Denman3OH/RSSo.
Kristen DenmanKristen Denman3OH/RS
Desiree MyhreDesiree Myhre9MB
Desiree MyhreDesiree Myhre9MB
Linnlee HansenLinnlee Hansen11OHSo.
Linnlee HansenLinnlee Hansen11OH
Jessica HollingsheadJessica Hollingshead13LSr.
Jessica HollingsheadJessica Hollingshead13L
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino14MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino8MBFr.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MDSo.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Lindsey HillegassLindsey Hillegass10SJr.
Lindsey HillegassLindsey Hillegass10SSo.
Maria SchnellMaria Schnell7SFr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5OH/RSFr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn4RSSo.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Amanda SzentmartoniAmanda Szentmartoni6S/DSFr.
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