September 26, 2003
Cowley volleyball players experience a change of scenery
A long way from home.
The Cowley County Community College volleyball team has two athletes on its squad in Lynsey MacInnis and Rachelle Aupperle who have ventured all the way from Canada to play for the Lady Tigers.
The two Canadian-born players were brought to Cowley head coach Joanna Pryor’s attention through a volleyball camp in Saskatchewan. The volleyball coach at Louisiana Tech was at the camp and phoned Pryor to tell her of MacInnis. After some time spent recruiting the 5-foot-10 right-side hitter from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, MacInnis bypassed a chance to play at NCAA Division I University of North Carolina-Wilmington and instead chose to come to Cowley.
“Lynsey knows so much about volleyball that I really haven’t had to teach her a lot,” Pryor said. “She hasa lot of experience and is a good leader on the court.”
In her first season at the school, MacInnis made a quick transition to life in Kansas as she shined in her first year playing volleyball for the Lady Tigers. MacInnis was named to the All-Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division first team, as well as second-team All-Region VI, while helping Cowley finish a close second in the Jayhawk East as a freshman.
“I really enjoy it here and really like the people,” MacInnis said. “It was a goal of mine to do well. I wanted to make a big impact in my first year at the school.”
As the first Canadian to play for the Lady Tigers, she has continued her strong play in her second year. She leads the team in kills and has helped the Lady Tigers win 12 of their first 16 matches and start 4-0 in the Jayhawk East.
Pryor got in contact with Bill Fong, who runs the volleyball camp in Saskatchewan, and found out about Aupperle, a 5-11 freshman middle hitter from Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan.
Aupperle is one of the team’s best passers and a strong defensive player on the back row. She has been a valuable addition to the squad and is glad she made the decision to attend Cowley.
“It took a little bit of getting used to, but the girls on the team have been very inviting from the very beginning,” Aupperle said.
Just halfway through her first season at the school, Aupperle hopes to continue to progress as a member of the Lady Tigers.
“I just want to improve my all-around play and bring my confidence level up,” Aupperle said.
Pryor has been pleased with the way the two Canadians have meshed with the team.
“They are both very smart, very disciplined, nice people,” Pryor said. “They are just like anyone else on the team, they just talk funny.”
The Canadian duo believes that even better things are in store for the team as the season develops.
“I think our team has the ability to win the conference,” MacInnis said.
MacInnis is majoring in sports medicine, and Aupperle is majoring in pre-physical therapy.