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August 20, 2008 2:16 pm

A new beginning

Written by Tribune Staff

Siqueira, Lady Trappers open season Friday
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Caroline Martin, a setter from Curitiba, Brazil, is one of only four sophomores on this year's Lady Trapper volleyball team. Tribune photo by David Dickey
A new era in Northwest College volleyball will officially start Friday when the Lady Trappers begin competition in the two-day College of Southern Idaho's Outback Invitational.
That event will mark Flavia Siqueira's debut as head coach of the Lady Trappers. Siqueira, who previously served as head coach at the College of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M., took over the helm of the squad earlier this year. She replaced interim coach Jesseca Cross, who directed the team to a 12-34 record in 2007 despite not having any collegiate-level coaching experience.
Cross, a graduate of Powell High School and a former Olympian, took over the team last year shortly after the coaching search to replace former head coach Sue Pollart faced a major setback. That setback came when Brittany Uffelman, the head coach at Louisiana's Northwestern State University and the leading candidate for the job, declined NWC's offer.
The Lady Trappers, because of the situation, faced little in the way of expectations last season. Siqueira hopes to raise expectations for the program, but she admits it will be a challenging task. Therefore, she's setting what she believes are realistic goals for 2008 as she embarks on building a winning program.
“We set our goals and expectations during the first week of preseason,” Siqueira said. “We know we have a very young team, but we are going to work hard to achieve our goals. Our main goals are to learn from each match and improve throughout the season.”
Siqueira also said a .500 record is a goal the Lady Trappers would like to obtain or surpass. They also have aspirations of establishing themselves as one of the top four teams in the Wyoming Community College Athletic Conference.
“We have individual talents, different styles and passionate players,” Siqueira said when listing strong points of her team. “We will be a scrappy team, which is very good when playing against big hitters. As for weaknesses, we have a lack of experience and some players are not yet ready for the speed of the game.”
Among the leaders of this year's team will be returning starter and outside hitter Maddie Peterson of Soda Springs, Idaho. Peterson, the team captain, is a dedicated player and role model, Siqueira said. She is one of only two players who returns from last year's team. The other is sophomore Angela Schuman (Polson, Mont.), who will play at right hitter.
The remainder of NWC's roster is filled with nine incoming freshmen and two sophomores. Setter Caroline Martin, of Curitiba, Brazil, and middle hitter Thabata Galvao, of Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, are expected to make major contributions this year.
Martin, according to Siqueira, brings a great deal of passion for the game to the court. Because of her understanding of the game and due to her being the oldest player on the team, Martin also is expected to be a team leader.
As for Galvao, she too has substantial volleyball knowledge and should be a key player if she can overcome injuries that have slowed her during preseason practices.
The freshmen on this year's team include right hitter Kirstin Parvin (Lewiston, Idaho), libero Marisa Shigetomi (Honolulu, Hawaii), outside hitter Irelis Avendano (Veroes, Venezuela), outside hitter Rebekah DePesa (Phoenix, Ariz.), outside hitter Isirene Delgado (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico), defensive specialist Brianna Reed (Lander), middle hitter Kayla Propes (Casper), setter Samantha Cuttlers (Pocatello, Idaho) and middle hitter Katie Gregg (Barstow, Calif).
Siqueira's young team will get a heavy dose of matches starting Friday in CSI's Outback Invitational. On day one of the tournament, NWC will face a grueling schedule that will include matches against Salt Lake Community College at 9 a.m., CSI at 10:30 a.m., Snow College at 1:30 p.m. and Casper College at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday's schedule includes three matches. The Lady Trappers will face North Idaho College at 9 a.m., Western Wyoming Community College at 1:30 p.m. and Colorado Northwestern Community College at 3 p.m.