ROCK SPRINGS – Mustang Volleyball returns to the comfort of Rushmore Gymnasium this week to begin the 2015 season with the second annual Holiday Inn Classic, a 12-team festival of volleyball featuring several familiar foes, including Western Nebraska Community College and Salt Lake Community College.
The action begins Thursday, Aug, 27, at 7 p.m., when Western opens the tournament against familiar foe SLCC. On Friday, Aug. 28, the Mustangs face ninth-ranked Western Nebraska at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 29, they play two matches, the first vs. No. 15 Snow College at 11 a.m. and the second at 5 p.m. against top-ranked Iowa Western in the tournament’s concluding contest.
All Western games will take place in Rushmore Gymnasium but half of the tourney contests will be held in the Auxiliary Gymnasium adjacent to the Children’s Center. In addition to Western, the complete list of participating teams includes: Casper College; College of Southern Idaho; Colorado Northwestern Community College; Northwest College; Salt Lake Community College; Phoenix College; Iowa Western Community College; Northeastern Junior College; Sheridan College; Snow College; and Western Nebraska Community College. A complete tournament schedule is attached.
The Classic will pose a useful test for the Mustangs, who return five sophomores from last season’s team in addition to a transfer sophomore. Four matches in three days against highly ranked competition should give the Mustangs a good measure of where they sit amongst Region IX teams, said Assistant Coach Jessica Anderson.
“The value of a tournament like this is that it enables us to evaluate where we are right now, see what we need to fix and where we need to go,” Anderson said. “We will work on making those changes as we go into region play next month.
“It’s a lot of volleyball over three days against top-ranked teams,” she added. “We know that we’ve got to serve and pass well to be able to hang with those teams. Our offense is coming along so we’re not too worried about that. Mostly just the serving and passing, and we’re working on that this week.”
After competing in four home matches over three days, the Mustangs will become road warriors. Western plays only one home match in the month of September, when Colorado Northwestern comes to Rock Springs on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.. But they will play five matches in eight days beginning with Eastern Wyoming College on Thursday, Oct. 2.
Western is proud to join Holiday Inn in sponsoring this early-season volleyball tournament. The College welcomes all visiting teams, coaches, parents and fans for a fun-filled weekend of competitive college volleyball.