Eagle volleyball has busy opening week schedule

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

College of the Siskiyous' volleyball team is scheduled to start its 2012 season in a big way this week, playing in a tournament at Modesto Aug. 29, a single game in Merced Aug. 30, and another tournament in Modesto Aug. 31.

"We'll see what we have," said head coach Tom Powers.

The Eagles have four returning sophomores who saw plenty of playing time last year, including 5-foot-10 middle blocker Hailey Wales of Darrington, Wash., who was all-conference in both volleyball and basketball as a freshman.

Shelbe Hunsaker of Bieber is a 5-9 outside hitter who started last year; Alexa Burdett is a 6-2 middle blocker from Portland who played a lot a year ago; and Taylor Brooks is a 5-2 returning setter from Yreka.

Burdett is one of four players from Westview High in Portland who are lined up as starters for the Eagles this year. The other three are freshmen – 5-7 outside hitter Chaz Gaspar, 5-9 middle blocker Morgan Smith, and 5-6 defensive specialist Danielle Arnold.

The Eagles have four other freshmen on their 2012 roster. Two of them – 5-8 outside hitter Alexis Yaple of Yreka and 5-5 defensive specialist Rachel Lyons of Etna – are Siskiyou County high school graduates.

5-9 outside hitter Breanne Buckles is from Canby, Ore; and 5-6 setter Nicole Kelsay is from Anderson.

The Eagles don't have three players they expected to have, and they would have made the team even stronger, Powers said. Returning sophomore Lydia North and two incoming freshmen were all softball players, too, and they left the college when Doug Eastman lost his job as head softball coach.

"We're a little less than what we expected, but we have a lot of experience," Powers said. "It will take us a little while to get going, but we'll be good."

The Eagles have one fewer opponent on their Golden Valley Conference schedule after Redwoods dropped its volleyball program.

Siskious' first home match is scheduled for Sept. 9 against Bellevue. They open GVC play Oct. 5 at home against Butte.