Erin Knez set to serve as Moffat County volleyball’s head coach | CraigDailyPress.com

Erin Knez set to serve as Moffat County volleyball’s head coach

Knez, assistant Kacey Daugherty prepare for fall season, larger league

Erin Knez, left, is the new head coach for the Bulldog volleyball program. She stands with assistant coach, Kacey Daugherty.

Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School volleyball players will see some changes this year, but even with some fierce opponents coming up, they’ll still have a familiar voice guiding them from the sidelines. volleyball players will see some changes this year, but even with some fierce opponents coming up, they'll still have a familiar voice guiding them from the sidelines.

Moffat County High School volleyball players will see some changes this year, but even with some fierce opponents coming up, they'll still have a familiar voice guiding them from the sidelines.

Erin Knez is the new head coach for the Bulldog volleyball program, which hosted the Chad Teichert Volleyball Camp at MCHS this week for middle school through high school athletes.

Knez replaces Starla Jensen, who resigned in April after three years with the program in order to take a new job, as well as to cut down on time spent commuting from Baggs, Wyoming, to coach at MCHS.

Knez served as Jensen's assistant for the past two seasons.

"Two years was great experience, and Starla was fantastic to work with, and she taught me a lot that I'll be able to use and carry on," Knez said.

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Knez is also an educator within Moffat County School District, teaching preschool at Sunset Elementary School. She also donned blue and white for the volleyball team all four years as an MCHS student, graduating in 2001.

During her time working with the program in prior seasons, she oversaw the junior varsity and C-Team as well as providing coaching during varsity games. Now in the head position, she'll be responsible for structuring a varsity squad out of returning starters and younger girls ready to move up the ranks.

The team saw six seniors graduate in the past school year, and getting the variety of talents — some of whom have never been on the court at the same time during games — meshed together will be a goal leading up to the season's start.

"We're going to have a young team, but knowing these girls and knowing their strong points will be a huge asset," she said. "We've got really strong qualities, it's just a matter of putting them all together. If we can get some good communication and morale on the team, I thnk we'll do pretty good."

Knez has also spent time checking in with incoming freshmen to bolster her numbers and arranging open gym sessions for early in the morning leading up to official practices, which begin Aug. 15.

Knez's new assistant coach will be Kacey Daugherty, who has lived in Craig for about five years and currently works as a substitute teacher in the district. Her experience includes head and assistant coach at both high school and middle school levels in Basalt and Carbondale.

"I'm just looking forward to helping these girls be the best that they can be," she said, noting that work with younger players will be essential. "I want to make sure they have the basic fundamentals down so that they can put those together at the higher level and be more competitive."

In addition to the alterations for the Lady Bulldogs' leadership, a shake-up in the Western Slope League will be occurring this fall as formerly 4A Delta and 2A Cedaredge both move into the 3A classification. Both schools finished 22-5 — each falling in the opening round of the finals to the eventual state champions — and will prove formidable against the other eight teams in the 3A WSL.

The larger conference will be beneficial, Knez said, as will the level of skill in opponents in bringing out the Bulldogs' best, the Panthers and Bruins both teams she saw in her time playing.

"It's somebody we haven't seen the last couple years, so we don't go it into it with pre-judgment, which is always a good thing," she said. "It'll pose a challenge, but we're always up for a challenge."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.