For the second summer in as many years, Western Wyoming Community College found itself in need of an interim volleyball coach on short notice. And, just like last year, it was local coaching talent that stepped up to the challenge.
Green River native Scott Dewey, 58, whose day job is with his family business, Superior Lumber Co. in Rock Springs, will lead the Mustang spikers this season, assisted by Rock Springs native Fredann Soto. Dewey and Soto both are Western grads, and Soto played college volleyball for Casper College. These days, the two coaches also regularly compete against each other in club play.
Dewey played college volleyball for four years at the University of Utah, and he continues playing today with a traveling team that competes in club league tournaments. He previously served as assistant volleyball coach for Green River High School for five years, including last season.
“Coming in and really not knowing any of the students at all, I am really kind of surprised at the level of talent that is here,” Dewey said. “It’s all kind of new to all of us. It will be interesting to see how they compete against other teams. I expect them to do well. They’re hard workers and doing well in practice.”
The Mustangs are a young team, featuring just two returning sophomores from last year’s Region IX Tournament Runner-Up squad – Mariah Smith and Peyton Lish – and three transfer sophomores.
They get their first taste of live competition on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 6 p.m., in an Alumni Scrimmage in Rushmore Gymnasium. The season begins officially on Monday, Aug. 22, with the Laramie County Community College Tournament in Cheyenne, where the Mustangs will play Western Nebraska Community College and Otero Junior College.
Soto, 42, has coached developmental-league and club volleyball, and she previously coached JV high school volleyball under Rock Springs High School head coach Wendy Bider, who led the Mustangs last season.
“This is a bucket-list situation. I love this,” Soto said of her opportunity to join the college ranks. “And I love the girls, the girls are doing really well. And we have a lot of talent. I think it’s coming together very well.”
The Mustangs’ Alumni Scrimmage on Saturday will be their only home competition for the next month. They have additional tournaments in Iowa and Torrington, Wyo./Scottsbluff, Neb. (the Wyo-Braska Shootout), as well as individual matches against Colorado Northwestern Community College and Snow College.
Home play will resume for the Mustangs on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. versus Northwest College, followed by a 3 p.m. match on Saturday, Sept. 24, versus Sheridan College.