Utah to Wyoming Connection

High school teammates come together for NWC volleyball

Posted 11/17/20

Long before their days of sporting red and black together for Northwest College’s volleyball team, Sabree Adams, Shante Falslev and Jacie Walker had a bond of their own.

Roughly 430 miles …

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Utah to Wyoming Connection

High school teammates come together for NWC volleyball

Posted

Long before their days of sporting red and black together for Northwest College’s volleyball team, Sabree Adams, Shante Falslev and Jacie Walker had a bond of their own.

Roughly 430 miles from Powell, the trio played together at Green Canyon High School in North Logan, Utah, and won a state title in their senior year. They played together throughout high school and even played a few seasons of club volleyball in middle school.

Adams, Falslev and Walker have created a strong chemistry, having played together for almost a decade. But even so, there were some struggles in their final season of high school volleyball.

“It was definitely a rough start,” said Falslev.

Added Walker, “We weren’t very good.”

The Green Canyon squad started the season 0-5 and needed a quick turnaround to avoid a wasted season.

At a tournament hosted by Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah, Green Canyon lost three matches in a row. It was that point when Adams, Falslev and Walker knew something had to change.

“I think it was a really good motivation change,” Walker said. “We saw where the season was going and how we wanted it to go.”

Falslev said, “We all just came together and were like, ‘Listen, our season’s not going to go like this.’”

Led by the trio, the Wolves won nine of their last 10 matches, cruising to the Utah 4A Volleyball Championship. It was a 180-degree turn from where the team started to where it finished.

“I think it’s kind of like you grow together,” Adams said. “You go through all of these trials together and you just get better. We worked out and died together, and then you get so much closer.”

When their high school careers ended, the three initially didn’t plan on pursuing volleyball at the next level; they figured they’d go out on top as champions and focus on school as they moved on to college.

But Adams decided to weigh her options with collegiate volleyball. She toured a handful of programs, and that’s when Adams knew she wanted to keep playing.

“I walked in the gym and knew I was supposed to play college volleyball,” Adams said.

Citing a “good feeling” about the school and program, Adams committed to Northwest College. This led Falslev and Walker — who were previously unsure about their college plans — to Powell.

“Sabree [Adams] having already signed was a big influence,” Falslev admitted.

As for Walker, “I wasn’t going to play in college, and then I ended up getting the opportunity,” she said. “I already knew two people, and so I decided to play.”

While moving from high school to college is normally a tough adjustment, Adams, Falslev and Walker already being acquainted made the jump smoother.

“It’s like built-in friends,” Walker said. “As a team, you already have built-in teammates, so it’s already like you have some friends. But because we went to the same high school, we already knew each other, so it made the transition easier because they were familiar faces.”

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 volleyball season was pushed back to the spring semester. But the Trappers still found ways to compete this fall, playing in multiple scrimmages.

The trio’s cohesion was on full display in each of the exhibitions.

“When all three of us are on the floor, it just makes us flow more,” Falslev said. “We’ve played together for so long that it just allows everyone to feed off of that and flow.”

Adams, Falslev and Walker are all expected to be in NWC’s starting lineup come spring. Adams is a middle blocker, Falslev is an outside hitter and Walker is a right-side hitter and setter.

Having half of the lineup already familiar with one another excites Trapper head coach Scott Keister.

“The connection is ... yikes,” Keister said. “For them to come in already with that connection is like we’re a step ahead already. It’s like we’re three or four months down the road already, even though we haven’t played any real matches.”

The Trappers are set to start their 2021 season on Jan. 22, at the Western Nebraska Community College Invitational.

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