By Andrew Towne
TORRINGTON – Four members of the Eastern Wyoming College volleyball team – sophomores Nadia Montalbán El-Hiriche, Lexi Trowbridge, Charlène Hosly and Allie White – announced their intentions to continue their careers at four-year universities next fall.
El-Hiriche and Trowbridge competed two years for the Lady Lancers and stayed through the transition of a coaching change.
“To their credit, they stuck around and stuck with me,” EWC coach Dante Geoffrey said. “They wanted to learn the new system. Those were two girls that really dedicated to working hard and improving their situation and earning their opportunity to move on the NCAA.”
Meanwhile, Hosly and White transferred from Lamar (Colo.) Community College when Geoffrey made the move to Torrington in March of 2019.
“They were able to add stability to what could have been an unstable situation,” he said. “They were definitely two leaders on the team. Allie was a team captain and both were able to bring that experience and knowledge of what it’s like to play for me, how I run my drills, how I like to run our systems and things like that.”
The four players helped revitalize the EWC program, finishing their sophomore seasons with a 25-13 record and an extended postseason run at the Region IX Tournament in 2019.
Hosly, a 5-foot, 8-inch outside hitter from Rixheim, France, will go through the biggest change of the four players moving on.
Hosly was an outside hitter in her two seasons at the junior college level, but once she arrives on the Chicago State University campus, she will move to libero.
It was a change Hosly and Geoffrey had discussed, but Hosly felt it best to stay on the outside.
“After her freshman year, I kicked around the idea of her making that change as a sophomore, but she was hesitant to do that,” Geoffrey said. “To be honest, she was right. I’m happy she pushed back because she was so valuable as an outside hitter for us this year.”
Hosly was second on the team with 425 kills and 506 digs. She led the team with 53 serving aces, to go along with 25 blocks and 22 assists.
CSU competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Western Athletic Conference, finishing last season with a 6-25 record.
White, a 5-8 middle blocker from Aurora, Colo., will join Presentation College (S.D.), who competes in the NAIA’s North Star Athletic Conference. The Saints finished 12-18 a year ago.
“When you have a team with only two returners, it is nice to have some stability from other areas,” Geoffrey said. “Charlene and Allie were able to add that.”
White tallied 44 blocks, to go along with 67 kills in 2019.
Nadia Montalban El-Hiriche
El-Hiriche, a 5-6 libero from Granada Spain, was an anchor in the back row for the Lady Lancers, recording 206 digs, 20 assists and serving up 28 service aces a year ago.
El-Hiriche will continue to be a libero when she joins the North Carolina A&T team.
The Aggies, who currently play in the NCAA Division I Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference but will be joining the Big South Conference in 2021, finished 16-15, reaching the National Invitational Volleyball Tournament a year ago.
Trowbridge, a 5-3 setter from Cheyenne, sparked the Lady Lancer offense, dishing out a team-high 631 assists. As a team, EWC tallied 1,686 kills on the season.
Trowbridge will transfer to Black Hill (S.D.) State University, an NCAA II institution who competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Yellow Jackets finished 2019 with a 12-15 record.
“Black Hills had some interest in her coming out of high school, from what I understand,” Geoffrey said. “There was already that connection there and a place she had eyed all along. It was nice that two years later, she can still go there.”