Under the new direction of head coach Mallori Gibson, the Warriors women volleyball team is looking forward to a fresh start.
“I’m very excited for this upcoming season,” Gibson said. “The girls came back from summer in excellent shape and now we’re just focusing on volleyball.”
Coach Gibson joins the Warriors from Fresno State where she spent her last four seasons on the Fresno State staff as the team’s recruiting coordinator, and also worked with the Bulldogs’ outside hitters and defensive specialists.
Gibson has rounded up four new recruits for this season, one being Turlock native and Pitman High School standout Sierrah Miller.
Miller led Pitman High volleyball to three conference championships during her tenure and was the 2012 Central California Conference most valuable player. She joins the Warriors with an impressive resume after completing two seasons at Modesto Junior College.
During her junior college career, Miller earned MJC athlete of the year as a freshman in 2013. She was a two-time All-Big Conference selection and her stats were notable finishing with 653 kills in 48 matches for an average of 13.6 kills per contest and a .463 hitting percentage.
Another local standout to watch for is Annabelle Perez, who played alongside Miller at Pitman High School and MJC. She joined the team last season during the spring.
“It’s so great to have both of them. The community will see a lot more local recruiting in the future,” Gibson said. “It brings a connection between Stanislaus volleyball and the Turlock community; we hope to see them fill our stands at games.”
The remaining three recruits to join CSU Stanislaus are Maddi Seidi, a 5-8 junior from Castle Rock, Washington, Clairissa Larry, a 6-0 senior from University Heights, Ohio and Heilani Hoeft, a 6-0 freshman from Redwood City.
This year the conference is holding a California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament and the team’s goal is to be there come playoff time. The CCAA takes the top eight teams in the conference and Warrior volleyball is prepared to compete.
“I think we have the potential to finish higher than eight,” Gibson said. “My personal goal for the team is to finish top five and keep building from there each year. I think it’s very realistic with the girls we have coming in and the girls we have returning.”
The Warriors finished the 2014 season 2-23 overall and 2-19 in conference.
“This is definitely going to be our year,” Jordan Harris, senior, said. “We have a lot of potential coming in... lots of new players, lots of new talent and a new coaching staff. We’re in the best shape we’ve ever been and we’re excited to get going.”
The Warriors home debut takes place at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in Ed & Bertha Fitzpatrick Arena; their first conference game will kick off at Cal State Monterey Bay at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 in Seaside.
“I hope the community comes out to support and give us a shot,” Blair Erlich, junior, said. “We’ll show them some really good competition. It’s going to be a lot different [than last season]; they will be surprised how far we have come.”