The long-delayed Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s volleyball season is due to begin this weekend, and the Chadron State Eagles hope to be among the contenders for one of the eight playoff berths.
The Eagles’ opening matches will be played Friday when they will take on Colorado-Colorado Springs and Westminster in Colorado Springs. CSC’s next dates are Saturday, Feb. 6, when Colorado State-Pueblo and Colorado Mesa will visit the Chicoine Center.
Coach Jennifer Stadler, who came to Chadron State a year ago from Wyoming’s Sheridan College, has reason to be optimistic. Last year’s team had a 14-12 record and was the college’s first to have a winning record since 2003.
She thinks the Eagles are one the right track.
Returning mainstays include front row players Chandler Hageman of Chadron, Rylee Greiman of Windsor, Colo., and Aracely Hernandez of Greeley, Colo., along with defensive specialist Karli Noble of Cheyenne. Other letterwinners include hitter Amelia Berg of Fort Collins, defensive specialist Abby Schaeffer of Greeley and setter Kincaid Strain of Elk River, Minn.
Stadler said immediate help is expected from transfer Alexia Hurtado of Aurora, Colo., and freshmen Olivia Moten-Schell of Billings, Mont., and Rhiannon Nez of Rapid City Central. They’ll provide some height. Moten-Schell is 6-1 and the others are 5-10.
The coach said three teams from the Denver area--Colorado Mines, Metro State and Regis--are probably the preseason conference favorites.