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Not to be outdone

September 18th, 2011 No comments

The Lady Stangs volleyball team wasn’t going to be outdone by the football team. When I talked to Coach Callender earlier this week he was not optimistic about the team’s chances on their RMAC opening home stand; first playing 3 nights in a row is tough; the team is trying to gell with lots of new faces and they were facing 3 tough opponents. He thought the girls might be able to steal a win against Colorado Springs on Friday. As it turned out, that was the only loss of the weekend for the Stangs.

The Lady Stangs opened up with an impressive sweep of Chadron State, a much improved team, on Thursday night with the help of a raucous home crowd. On Friday, the ladies jumped out to an early 2 game lead but as has happened in the past, the Lady Stangs relaxed a bit and lost in 5 sets, 13-15 in the last game.

Then on Friday, Metro State of Denver, the #7 team in the nation was coming to town. The Lady Stangs fought hard and got a victory!!! That is huge for a young team. I don’t have the stats and was on the road but the Lady Stangs proved the old axiom; that’s why you play the games! Great job ladies!!!

Lady Stangs VB opens up RMAC and home season

September 14th, 2011 No comments

WNMU VB returns from another weekend of splits, this time in Phoenix at Grand Canyon’s tourney, getting wins over MSU Billings and Notre Dame de Namur, two good teams. But perennial national championship contender Hawaii Pacific and the host team were too much for the young Lady Stangs team although the girls competed very well.

Now the ladies open up RMAC play with 3 at home over the next 3 days. Problem is 2 of the 3 visiting teams are from the East Division of the RMAC which is far stronger than the West Division this year. Chadron State comes in at 3-5 but is very experienced and Coach Callender believes is as good as any of the top teams in the West. Metro State is ranked in the top 10 in the nation and will likely compete with UNK for the RMAC title. It will be good experience as the Lady Stangs will face UC-CS from our division in between the other two matches. The Lady Stangs are young and will get some good experience and will definitely compete at home against any and all comers. But the goal is to win the West, get into the playoffs and anything can happen. It won’t be the same team late in the season as we see now; they’ll be better!

Lady Stangs with solid opening peformances

September 4th, 2011 No comments

Coach Callendar took his young squad on the road wondering what it was going to be like with lots of new faces and some missing faces. He got a pretty good answer this weekend in California. The Lady Stangs return home with an even record at 2-2. Winning on the road was the big problem for the Lady Stangs last season so getting a split against some very tough competition early in the season and on the road gives the fans some hope for an improved road record this year.

Angelina Pulu led the Lady Stangs offensively both days; she recorded 29 kills in the first 2 games and while she committed 8 errors in game one she bounced back with 19 kills and only 3 errors in the 2nd game. In the 2nd day of actions she put up 28 more kills but had another game with 8 errors. But really it’s a very solid performance and as the season goes on she’ll reduce those errors.

Alyssa Melhack performed well at the setter position leading in assists and getting better with each game. She came up with 46 assists in the Lady Stang’s win on Saturday showing that she’s going to be a force for WNMU. Marilee Frost led the team in digs each game and played solidly for Coach Callendar.

Western will head out this weekend to Grand Canyon for another set of tough matches before heading home to start the RMAC schedule.

Lady Stangs volleyball

August 21st, 2011 No comments

Last year Coach Jim Callender, who has built the Stang volleyball program into a perennial contender, had a down year. With a very young team, the Lady Stangs were above .500 with a 10-8 record in the conference and were strong at home but couldn’t find their groove on the road. Look for the Lady Stangs to improve on that performance as they return experience and add some new faces to the mix. WNMU is picked to finish 2nd in the West Division of the RMAC just behind Colorado Mesa (Mesa State) but 8th overall. The RMAC East Division is pretty tough with a lot of teams looking to compete for the title; 6 of the seven teams in the East had winning records overall and return many of their key players.

So being in the West this year with still a relatively young team will benefit the Lady Stangs. They start with a tough non-conference schedule before returning home in mid-September to start the RMAC season. They’ll gain experience and hopefully confidence as they get wins in the West which should get them into the playoffs. By then their confidence and experience should allow them to compete against the teams from the East, which are some of the best in the Central Region and the nation.

Angelina Pulu, SO outside hitter, will lead the Lady Stangs as she was a 2011 RMAC Preseason All Conference Selection. Angelina was 2nd on the team last year in her Freshman campaign in kills with 283, a 3.37 kill/set average. Natali Murdock lead the team in kills with 381; she graduated and Angelina will need to step up and try to fill those big shoes. Angelina’s defense is pretty darn good; she led the team last year with 309 digs, 3.68 digs per.

We’ll have more of a preview of Mustang volleyball as we are able to catch up with Coach Callender; watch for the Mustang Spirit volleyball edition this week…

Meet Marilee Frost

October 13th, 2010 No comments

Have You Seen the Lady Stangs Play?

October 11th, 2009 1 comment

Coach Callender

It’s a very young team lacking in experience but the Lady Stangs are 7-4 in the conference and are playing some exciting volleyball. Last night the Stangs gave the #5 team in the nation, University of Nebraska-Kearney all they could handle. UNK is undefeated this season but the Lady Stangs took them to the limit 26-24, 25-22 & 25-19. Coach Callender does a very good job of getting the team ready and being competitive when no one thinks they should be. Check them out before they are the season is over.

Volleyball Team is Picking up Momentum and Raising Money!

September 20th, 2009 No comments

Volleyball Dig for the Cure

First to the court: The Mustangs came out ready to win this weekend. Last night, WNMU swept CSU-Pueblo in three sets. They did the same thing tonight against Adams State College (25-21, 25-21, 20-25). The Mustangs improve to 5-7 overall and 2-1 in the RMAC. The Lady Stangs are young but talented and as they gain more experience they will return to being one of the elite teams.

Now to the MONEY!!! With the month of October designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness month, head coach Jim Callender and the Western New Mexico University volleyball team will participate in the 2nd Annual Dig for the Cure campaign, which supports the Central New Mexico Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

The Mustangs have designated their two matches on October 16 and 17 as the team’s “Dig for the Cure” weekend. Individual sponsors pledge money per dig earned by the Mustangs over the two matches on October 16 and 17 or can make a flat donation for the cause. The money raised by the team will go directly to the Central New Mexico Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

In addition to the pledges, pink “Dig for the Cure” WNMU Volleyball t-shirts will be available the entire month of October. All proceeds of the t-shirts will also go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. The cost of the t-shirts are $10.00.

Why not save money? Buy admission to the game and a t-shirt for $15.00.

“We are excited to work for this great cause,” says Callender. “It allows the team the opportunity to assist in finding a cure of a disease that affects women daily.”

People wishing to contribute monetary donations to the WNMU Dig for the Cure campaign can fill out a pledge sheet online or at a WNMU home volleyball match. You can also contact assistant coach Terra Strain at (575) 538-6236 or straint1@wnmu.edu or Victoria Stimac at (575) 538-6214 or hueninkv@wnmu.edu.

Ellen East Gives You the Inside Scoop on Volleyball

September 13th, 2009 No comments

West Texas A&M Tournament: This weekend was going to be interesting for the team because we were still getting the feel of each other because of ten new freshman and seven returners. We are a very talented team but with little experience at the college level. I prepared myself for the tournament to simply stay positive and encouraging for the freshman. I remember at one point on the court it was five freshmen and me. As a team, we came a long way in a short weekend. Going 2-2, our hardest match came against the host team, WTAM. They’re ranked no. 5 in the nation. We lost bad the first two matches but bounced back in the third with a lead, 11-1. Seeing the team come back and realize we can compete with any team showed a lot. Overall the weekend was fun.

Abilene Classis: We knew after the weekend before what little things we needed to change: passing, communication, and serving aggressive. But we couldn’t get on the same page as a team. It seemed we were working hard on scrappy plays and lazy on serve receive. We have good, strong hitters. When we pass great, we put the ball away. As a team, we have to learn the plays that change the momentum our way when we get in a bind. The teams were good. It was a weekend of out of balance for us. We would get in a rhythm and then just hit a brick wall. The little mistakes we made add up quickly when playing to 25. We seem to have made a lot of those this weekend.

Highlands: The big state rival!!! It was a game that would test our ability and confidence to pass and serve well. As we did those two things, we put Highlands on their heels the first and second matches. In the beginning of the third game, we got a little too comfortable and became lazy on passing and defense. We bounced back though to win. It was a good game for everyone. The passes and digs are what made a difference being able to set all three hitters and not settle for a high outside set. Highlands hit a lot of balls out or in the net so blocking wasn’t an issue. Half the time when I was in the front row I’d pull off to be ready to set. It was a great way to start conference. The freshman have to realize it won’t be that easy all season!

Mustang Volleyball

August 30th, 2009 No comments

ellen east

Congratulations to Ellen East, WNMU Volleyball. She was selected to the all tournament team this past weekend. The Lady Stangs had a very good outing losing only to the #5 ranked West Texas A&M team in 4 sets. Coach Callendar has a very young team and everyone that made the trip saw action on the court. It is amazing that the volleyball team is consistently competitive year in and year out. WNMU has always been in tough conferences with eventual national champions or we would have won more titles… the future is definitely bright for 2009! Good job. The Stangs open their home season on Sept. 12 so check it out.