TORRINGTON – The 2019 edition of the Eastern Wyoming College volleyball team features many new faces under first year head coach Dante Geoffrey.

The Lancers, who return two players back from a year ago, three transfers who came to Torrington with Geoffrey from Lamar Community College and a handful of incoming freshman, took a trip to the Medicine Bow National Forest, giving everyone a chance to work together for the first time and to get to know one another better, prior to the start of the season.

It proved beneficial to everyone, especially Geoffrey.

“They had a blast even though a lot of it was challenging,” he said. “It showed a lot about our character and about what is important to us, our value system and our priorities.”

Geoffrey put his team through a number of physical team bonding activities.

“There was an obstacle course, a ninja warrior ropes course, a slack line, a thing called a spider web, where you get through these vertical holes without touching anything, essentially your teammates were lifting you up,” Geoffery said. “We also did a thing called blind captain, where five of them would get into a row boat. Everyone was blindfolded with only one person who could see, didn’t have an oar and tried to direct them to a buoy in the lake for communication and trust purposes. They cooked themselves dinner.”

The next day the team climbed to the peak of Medicine Bow, towering 12,014 feet above sea level.

Even though the trip lasted a little more than a day, the team accomplished a lot and learned a lot about themselves, and Geoffrey feels the team will be better because of it.

Even though the team is back in Torrington and hard at work ahead of their Aug. 23 season opener against McCook (Neb.) Community College, Geoffrey is still doing team bonding activities on an everyday basis whether it’s a fun activity or delve a little deeper and access our vulnerable side, which might not be shown by the players on a day-to-day basis.

“It’s absolutely crucial we grow as much as possible in communication, trust and being vulnerable and being okay, making mistakes and failing around one another,” Geoffrey said. “We have a long season and preseason, where we are trying to learn new concepts and a new system. You have to be okay not being your best all the time. It’s easier to do that when the person to your left and right are supporting you and not judging you.”

Season opener

The Lady Lancers will open the season at the Mid-Plains Tournament hosted by North Platte (Neb.) Community College on Aug. 23-24, while opening the home portion of the schedule against perennial Region IX power Western Nebraska Community College on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Lancer preview

The annual EWC volleyball preseason section with a roster and schedule will be included in the Aug. 21 edition of the Torrington Telegram.