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Friday, 05 August 2011 09:52

SunDogs' men's volleyball team hires new head coach, announces new recruits

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The Great Plains College SunDogs have hired Travis Cuthbert as their men’s volleyball coach for the upcoming Prairie Athletic Conference season.

Cuthbert replaces Jason Loewer, who left after the 2010 season. Loewer’s two seasons at the helm included a PAC championship in 2009 and a Western Canadian silver medal in 2010.

Cuthbert previously spent five seasons as head coach of the Swift Current Colts high school team, leading them to 5A boys’ provincials in 2006, 2007 and 2010. The Colts entered last year’s Saskatchewan High Schools' Athletic Association championship tournament ranked No. 1 in the province.

“I’ve always had a passion for coaching and a passion for volleyball,” said Cuthbert. “I enjoy being around the kids, and I think the calibre of volleyball will only continue to improve at Great Plains College this year.”

Cuthbert should know, with six members of last year’s Colts already committed to this year’s SunDogs.

“Having a coach of Travis’ calibre on board is exciting and really speaks to the growth of the SunDogs Athletics program,” said athletics co-ordinator Mary Jane Benesh. “His track record of success and chemistry with the incoming group of players should ensure the continuation of our winning tradition and another exciting year of SunDogs volleyball.”

As one of Cuthbert's first duties, he announced two more graduates of the Swift Current Colts high school team are among the newest batch of recruits to the Great Plains College SunDogs men’s volleyball team. Colts alumni Ty Vandersteen and Matt Hackney, along with Dinsmore product Mitchel Lutz, have committed to the SunDogs for the 2011 Prairie Athletic Conference season.

Hackney, Lutz, and Vandersteen will join a roster that also includes Colts alumni Dallin Martin, Colton Siemens, Tyson Dyck, and Darby Zacharias, along with the team’s lone expected returnee Tyler Byers.

“Ty is a fantastic, all-around, natural athlete,” said Cuthbert. “He’s just a real competitive guy. He really wants to win. And Matt has really come a long way since he started playing for me in Grade 11. He has a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses with another year on the court.”

Early indications are that Vandersteen will line up as a power hitter while Hackney, who last played competitive volleyball in 2009, will play up the middle. Cuthbert, however, stressed that he won’t be assigning any positions until he sees the team on the court.

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