Posted on Aug 16, 2023
Last week we had a really good time listening to the new (December 2022) head coach of CSU Volleyball, Emily Kohan, and her 3 captains as they shared their enthusiasm for the upcoming season.
Emily shared a little of her bio. It may be that Stacy Plemmons was the only member aware of her hometown, Swink (population 602) in southeastern Colorado. Her dad is a rancher who studied Ag Management; several other family members attended CSU. Emily went to school out-of-state, but she is definitely back! She travels often (recruiting+), commonly accompanied by her 2 young children. She has a good family support system and seems to be on schedule following her mothers’ life plan outlined for her - i.e., she is now where she wants to (and should) be - the head coach of a storied and community-supported team.
We all know she has big shoes to fill and considers it an honor that Coach Tom Hilbert selected her to continue his legacy. Tom prepared her as she contributed as his assistant coach. The new season will embody Emily’s core values and mission. She has studied the words of Carol Dweck who advocates for “the growth mind set over the fixed mind set” (i.e., can I be better or am I just who I am?). Growth is usually a keyword in team sports, but “build” may be a better concept - it requires a plan, a goal, and lots of hard work.
CSU women’s VB teams have made it to the NCAA finals before but getting to the sweet 16 or even the final 8 is attainable and a stated goal. BUILD becomes an acronym.
  • Be a Giver.
  • U - Unity
  • I - Inspire
  • D - Do your best.
A white board at practice shows the plan and the goals of the practice day. After practice the player that embodied the team’s core values is identified.
This years’ team is incredibly deep. Even the 2 freshmen are competitive. There are 2 transfers and only 2 graduating seniors.  All 15 student athletes are at the same time competitive and supportive. The goal is to take care of one another while winning championships.  At CSU athletics, Women’s Volleyball is the winningest, has the highest student GPA’s and does the most community work!
The season is challenging.  First up is Kentucky (ranked 10th) followed by Stanford (in the top 30). Remarkably, both teams contacted CSU because they wanted to play in a setting where there is great fan support (we can sell out Moby on August 25!)  Other tough opponents will be Arkansas, Baylor, and Bowling Green. There will be no room for bad days this year.
Next, we got to meet the 3 captains (Emery Herman, Barrett Power, and Kennedy Stanford) as they shared their bios. While they were on stage, Coach put them on the spot.  Kennedy - Why come all the way from Texas to CSU? A: Well, after seeing the culture, meeting the girls, and realizing the high level of VB where else would you Go?  Emery - What impressed you about the transfer portal?  A: Simple, the speed required to decide.
Next, some questions from the audience
Q: Kennedy - where did you learn to jump so high? A: The coaches!
Q: What’s the funniest thing that has happened?  Well, it was the coach’s tactic to ensure no one left the recruiting sheets behind and, a couple pregnancy stories (about the coaches).
Q:  Are there any international students on the team?  No, but historically this is usually the case.
I think we all related to Ralph Smiths’ comment that there seems to be an unusual amount of enthusiasm at CSU for the upcoming athletic season. This was on display today. We thank these ladies for sharing their super-busy schedules with us.  Many RCFC members will be at Moby to cheer Emily and her team to victory this school year and we wish them great success.