As the Glendale Community College volleyball team prepared for the Arizona Community College Regional tournament, head coach Lisa Stuck announced the signing of eight high school players to letters of intent to play for the Gauchos next season.
“This is one of the biggest decisions they will make and my hope for them is that when they are done and ready to move, in their heart they would hope that GCC is a four-year school because of the fun they will have,” said Stuck. “We want to compete and win, but we also want them to enjoy their time here, because it will go fast.”
Signing community college letters of intent were Kelsie Schiefelbein from Liberty; Jade Smith of Phoenix Arcadia; Kaitlin Bruchhauser, Annika Payne, Alissa Avitia and Terayah Stukes of Goodyear Millennium; Kayla Chavez and Breanna Allen of Surprise Valley Vista.
“I have had my eyes on these girls for over a year,” said Stuck. “I have coached some of them (in club ball) and the connection I have carries over to GCC and that is nice for me.”
Schiefelbein, a one-year starter at Liberty, led the Lions to a 12-5 record and first round of the 5A tournament, losing a five-set match to Ironwood Ridge. Schiefelbein had 177 kills, 53 blocks and 18 aces and Stuck said she is just reaching her potential of her game.
“She has so much talent and we are just hitting the tip of what she can be,” Stuck said. “I think she has the chance to be a very strong player for us the next two years.”
GCC adds Allen, who ranked first in 6A in hitting percentage (.418), fourth in kills (408) and third in aces (78), and Chavez who ranked fifth in hitting percentage (.387) and 10th in kills (342) after leading Valley Vista to the playoffs, before dropping their first-round matchup to Horizon.
Avitia, who helped lead Millennium to the quarterfinals of the 6A, before losing a five-set match to Perry, joins the Gauchos after leading 6A in aces with 88 this past season.
Stuck, with the addition of Smith, will be coaching her seventh set of siblings at GCC and says recruiting has changed over the years.
“I think, for me, it is about really focusing on players that I want to coach,” said Stuck. “I always want good character kids and ones that want to be here that I have a relationship with and who will work hard.”
She added that the siblings make it a little more special for her.
“I have seven sister combos since I have been here, including some third sisters; that shows that we are doing something right,” said Stuck. “It shows that I have a great coaching staff and that they really care for these girls.”
While the Gauchos are losing five to graduation and returning five next season, Stuck said they are set with maybe one more addition to the team.
“We are looking to add one more to this team as I try not to carry more than 14 players on my roster,” said Stuck. “We are not planning on taking any walk-ons (next season). We have one player that is interested in joining our team, but we need to meet with her before moving forward in our recruiting process.”