Trapper volleyball adds new players, assistant coaches

Posted 7/27/21

Northwest College’s volleyball roster is set for the fall 2021 season. 

Along with the 10 returning players from the spring, six freshmen — Brooke Palmer of Rawlins; Hailey …

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Trapper volleyball adds new players, assistant coaches

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Northwest College’s volleyball roster is set for the fall 2021 season. 

Along with the 10 returning players from the spring, six freshmen — Brooke Palmer of Rawlins; Hailey Marshall of Cheyenne; Elsa Clark of Gillette; Sidney Parker of Rexburg, Idaho; Emma Hanson of Billings; and Avery Hobbs of Mitchell, Nebraska — will join the roster next month, along with two new assistant coaches, Tasha Bjornestad and Alyssa Goncalves.

A Rawlins native, Palmer was an all-state volleyball player in 2020. She is a “fiery, competitive kid who can jump out of the gym,” NWC coach Scott Keister said. 

Marshall, an outside hitter from Cheyenne East, likely won’t play in 2021 after tearing her ACL last fall. But she’ll still be in the gym training with the Trappers, even if she doesn’t make the active roster.

Clark, who went to Gillette’s Thunder Basin High School, played the 2020 season on a torn ACL but still impressed Keister when he watched her in the state tournament. She got cleared to play last week, and the coach thinks Clark will surprise some people in 2021.

At 6-foot-1, Parker will be the tallest Trapper this season and will get significant playing time at middle blocker. While Keister said the Madison High School product needs some work offensively, he expects her to be a defensive standout.

Hanson will likely give the Trappers depth at setter after a successful high school career at Billings Senior High School. She was a high school teammate of sophomore outside hitter Karli Steiner.

And Hobbs is a “scrappy kid” that gets all over the floor, per Keister. The libero also has experience competing in rodeos, so she “knows how to be tough,” the coach said.

Keister said he expects these six to mesh well with his returners.

“The hope is they complement them well,” he said. “I recruit talent but I’m also recruiting personality. We put them in the wringer a little bit, make them hang out with our current team, and I evaluate the talent part.”

As for Keister’s newest staff members, Bjornestad served as Powell High School’s head volleyball coach for the past two seasons and will work with NWC’s middles. Goncalves is one of Keister’s former players at Salt Lake Community College and the older sister of returning Trapper Jacie Walker. She will coach the team’s setters.

“That’ll help me a ton to have two assistant coaches and let me focus on the rest,” Keister said.

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