Jason Galvin has an inside look on the upcoming 2010 season for the College of the Canyons Women’s Vollyball team. Photographed and edited by Brian Lewis.
With the College of the Canyons fall sports season underway, attention is not just on the football team. The women’s volleyball team is also looking for redemption.
Despite coming off a year in which the team went 16-7, the Cougars missed the playoffs for the first time in four years. Head Coach Lisa Hooper is confident that the streak will end.
“I think we are a legitimate contender for the conference. I think that if we are able to do all of the things that we have set out to do, at the rate we would like to achieve them, then we’re going to be dukeing it out for the conference title. I see us making the postseason,” Hooper said.
This season the Cougar‘s roster is sporting a new look with nine incoming freshman who are making their collegiate debut. The Cougars also return six sophomores.
“Whenever you have nine new women learning the ropes, playing at this level, playing in this system, we’re working out a few kinks, but I think we’re going to be good,” Hooper said.
Hooper is bullish on the team’s potential chemistry and points to the Cougars defense as a major asset. “Our back row defense is some of the best that I’ve had in 14 years,” Hooper said.
With a plethora of new freshmen talent, Coach Hooper sees one player that has stood out and could evolve into a force on the floor.
“No question that’s Jennie Long. She’s an opposite hitter from Hart high school, a lefty. She’s a tall, thin girl that doesn’t appear to move very fast, but moves very efficiently … The fact that she moves so efficiently, it’s deceiving,” Hooper said.
After a shaky introduction to college volleyball, Long has worked very hard to prove she belongs, including training with strength and conditioning coach Robert dos Remedios.
“I was really weak when I first started playing with all of them. I started last semester and I started training with Dos and lifting and I’m a lot stronger,” Long said.
A few other Lady Cougars to look out for include the trio of captains on the squad, sophomores Lindsey Murachanian, Megan Lavo, and freshman Allison Toledo. Coach Hooper’s leadership by committee is by design. Hooper believes there will be less disagreement with three players as opposed to two who may never see eye to eye.
“The responsibility is a big deal on this team and I think that me, Lindsey, and Alli are all great leaders and we can lead this team to win,” Lavo said.