Sept. 2, 2013
The UCCS volleyball team has a motto: “We’re just a family.” They are hoping that spirit can help carry them to a deep RMAC playoff run this fall.
New faces and adjustments, along with new parts of the family, have characterized the early part of their 2013-2014 campaign.
First year Head Coach Chrissy Elder officially took over on Feb. 1, and the adjustment was simple for all involved.
“The adjustment wasn’t hard at all,” said Elder. “I might be a little biased but they [the players] are awesome.”
“As with any change, there’s always some sort of adjustment. We are willing and able to adapt, which helps make it all OK,” said senior libero Heather Sanders.
“With the changes, we are a family no matter what,” said sophomore outside hitter Jordan Banich. “That’s a concept that we really believe in and the freshman need to buy into. Coach agreed with that, and that made everything more solid.”
“Getting to know them is the biggest adjustment,” Elder added. “We’ve never been stressed out together.”
Elder and her players endured an additional hardship with the loss of assistant coach JJ Glavan, who went to New Mexico to serve as an assistant coach for the Lobos.
“We’re super happy for him and super proud,” said Elder. Yet, the loss of Glavan “started our adversity real quick in the season.”
Former UCCS player Laura Loosbrock was brought in to help replace Glavan.
“She works really hard, is excited for the program, and wants the program to succeed,” said Elder of Loosbrock.
Team chemistry is high despite the new faces. “It’s really strong actually, we get along really well,” said Sanders. “We are blessed by that, the better we get along off the court the better it translates.”
To Elder, team chemistry “is an ongoing process, as it is with any team. We are working with learning styles and personality traits; everyone is a little different.”
“All the players are pretty close, it’s kind of scary actually,” Elder added.
“It goes back to our team motto – we’re just a family. That makes a huge difference on the court,” said Banich.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Sanders anticipates a simple approach.
“Every game we play there’s gonna be some challenge,” said Sanders. “We’ll just take it a step at a time.”
The first home games for the team are the weekend of Sept. 20. They take on Colorado Christian on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Gallogly Events Center, with Colorado Mines also coming to Gallogly on Sept. 21.
Both games are part of White Out weekend for the team, where, along with the players, students can help “start new traditions with getting the crowd involved,” said Elder.
As the season progresses, Elder foresees opportunities for many players to excel.
“Everybody’s bonded to their individual role,” said Elder. “A lot of the team will have a chance to shine.”