Keister’s first NWC volleyball squad taking shape

By Steve Moseley
Posted 3/5/20

To say new Trapper volleyball coach Scott Keister hit the ground running when he arrived on campus in early January would be an understatement.

Only two months since moving into his office across …

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Keister’s first NWC volleyball squad taking shape

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To say new Trapper volleyball coach Scott Keister hit the ground running when he arrived on campus in early January would be an understatement.

Only two months since moving into his office across the hall from Cabre Gym, the Indiana native has six talented new players signed, sealed and delivered who will join a nucleus of six players returning from last season.

Keister has the names of three or four more athletic young women on the recruiting board in his office who he hopes will sign, too. A full roster in his program is 15-16 players.

Clearly, the pieces are already falling into place.

The Trappers from last year’s squad “are getting used to life in a new system” that runs “at a different pace” than they were used to, Keister said. The coach said he’s “putting a lot of work into team building” as he develops players recruited by another coach into his own.

NJCAA rules permit eight hours of volleyball workouts a week at this time of year. Keister breaks that down into three weekly sessions in the weight room, with two dedicated to individual skills training and a couple team practices.

Community service will become an expectation for his players, too, as he works to integrate them into the community.

The new Trapper coach didn’t have to go far to recruit Aubrianne Crosby, a libero from Cowley who played at Rocky Mountain High School.

“She’s a hard worker and up for a challenge,” he said of Crosby. “A tough kid.”

Kiah Johnson, coming to Northwest from Morgan, Utah, just signed her paperwork in the past few days.

A right-side with “very good” club and high school experience, Johnson is a, “tall, powerful” athlete with a “great attitude” who “contacts the ball really high” and is “a great blocker,” Keister said.

A middle from Logan, Utah, Sabree Adams was first to commit to this Trapper recruiting class.

Her team won the 4A state championship in Utah. Adams “is a mature, big middle [blocker] who moves well side to side. She will disrupt some things in there,” predicts Keister.

Baylee Peterson lives in Rexburg, Idaho, but has family in Powell.

An outside, Peterson won her 2018 state championship in high school and was selected first team All-State.

At 5 feet, 10 inches, said Keister, Peterson “is a big strong kid who jumps well and is very versatile.” He foresees her being “our utility player in a sense.”

Emma Teichert is a two-sport standout from Cokeville, who has excelled on the basketball court, too. One of her uncles was Idaho State’s volleyball coach for many years.

“She’s a little on the quiet side,” Keister said of Teichert, “but she’s very powerful and knows the game.”

The sixth recruit, Karli Steiner, comes from a Billings family in which all three of her older sisters play Division I collegiate volleyball.

The outside hitter, recovering from a season-ending injury, “has a high volleyball IQ, is tough and can play all the way around” the rotations, Keister said, adding that Steiner is good in both the back and front rows.

The Trapper coach has a setter on the squad and has an offer out at that key position, too.

Keister will attend a tournament in Denver where he expects to see about 10 athletes he’s had his eye on and offer scholarships to perhaps three or four of them.

Haley Sorenson, a former Rocky Mountain Grizzly and collegiate volleyball player, has joined Keister as an assistant coach.

“That will be nice … a big help,” he said.

Sorenson will don three hats as director and strength coach at the Johnson Fitness Center, assistant to women’s basketball coach Cam Levett and now volleyball assistant.

Keister is also looking for a manager to assist with the team. Anyone interested in volunteering in that capacity — student or otherwise — is invited to chat with Keister or Sorenson.

Asked what scheme he runs, Keister said that choice is ultimately based on individual skills of the players he has to work with.

“I prefer at 5-1 but with really good right sides [hitters] I like a 6-2 also,” Keister said. “The 5-1 revolves around a single setter who never leaves the floor. The second strategy employs two setters who rotate.”

Meanwhile, Keister said a new weekly program, Train and Play, begins Monday and Thursday, March 10, 13 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Cabre Gym and continues through April. Players in grades 5-12 will spend the first 45 minutes in skills training. In the last 45 minutes, he said, the attendees “will just play.”

The cost is $10 a week and Keister stressed there is no requirement to sign up ahead of time.

The Trapper Volleyball Summer Camp is already locked in the last week of July for grades K-12.

“We’ll have something for everybody,” he promised.

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