Volleyball News Archive 2019-2020

Eight Lark sophomores announce transfer plans

The following sophomores plan to graduate this spring and continue their education and athletic opportunities at schools across the country. Here is where the current commits are heading:

Cross Country and Track

  • Samantha Trejo (Lyons, Kan.): Bethany College (Lindsborg, Kan.) – NAIA

Men’s Soccer

  • Anawin Boonprasert (Bangkok, Thailand): Middle Georgia State University (Macon, Ga.) – NAIA
  • Bryson White (Fort Worth, Texas): Sterling College (Sterling, Kan.) – NAIA

Women’s Soccer

  • Kassandra Ayala (San Antonio, Texas): Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) – NAIA


  • Kaylen Lassley (Salina, Kan.): Friends University (Wichita, Kan.) – NAIA


  • Jade Gleason (Brush, Colo.): Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) – NAIA
  • Cassidy King (Cochranville, Pa.): Lancaster Bible College (Lancaster, Pa.) – NCAA D III
  • Annalys Hanna (Winter Park, Colo.): Hesston College (Bachelors in Nursing) – Soccer

Hesston College is a 2-year college associated with the Mennonite Church USA. The Larks compete in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and Region VI of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Hesston College competes in fourteen intercollegiate sports.

Cole to coach Lark Volleyball

Hesston College and Athletic Director Chris Nachtigall announce the hiring of Casey Cole as the new Head Volleyball Coach. Cole has spent the last year working at Hesston College as a Student Success specialist and as assistant volleyball coach.

Cole brings years of Christian higher education work experience.

Cole enjoys working in higher education. In addition to student success at two different schools, she has worked as an enrollment coordinator at Southern Nazarene University (Bethany, Okla.) and as an assistant volleyball coach at Southern Wesleyan University (Central, S.C.).

“God has brought me on an amazing journey of developing my different skills and learning different lessons to prepare me for this time and season.” said Cole.

While in school at Southeastern University (Lakeland, Fla.) getting a bachelor’s degree in business and sports management, Casey was a two sport athlete. She captained both her volleyball and basketball teams. She was also an NAIA All-American in both. Cole went on to earn a master’s degree in management at Southern Nazarene University.

“Casey brings a heart for mentoring young women,” said Nachtigall. “She has a desire to see excellence in Hesston College Athletics which makes her a perfect fit for who we are as a department.”

“I am excited, honored and humbled to be entrusted with this program here at Hesston College,” said Cole. “I look forward to pouring out my heart, investing with the students and walking alongside them as they become better athletes and individuals. They will also help me to grow in my journey.”

Lark volleyball defeats Cloud County Thunderbirds

The Larks took their second straight victory in the Jayhawk Conference last night defeating Cloud County Community College. Away from home, the Larks seemed to settle in quickly, winning in three sets, 25-19, 25-22 and 25-20. The win puts Hesston College at 2-2 in KJCCC play, 7-10 overall.

The attack was balanced with seven Larks recording a kill. Leading the way was Samantha Rossin who went 8-12. Cassidy King and Jade Gleason recorded seven kills each. Faith Hallmark was lethal with 26 assists, distributing the ball to the frontline attack. Annalys Hanna led the backline with great defense and a composed passing game.

“We had a great win last night,” said Head Coach Deedee Landes. “We showed up as a team and played as one unit. This translated into a quality win on the scoreboard. It was truly a team win.”

The Larks will be at home this weekend for Hesston College homecoming celebrations. The will face Pratt Community College (10 a.m.) and Ottawa University JV (2 p.m.) in a triangular on Saturday. They will resume KJCCC competition on Wednesday, October 3, at home against Cowley Community College (6:30 p.m.).

Lark volleyball defeats Falcons and Bluejays

Hesston College Volleyball took both matches Friday night defeating Friends University JV 3-1 and Tabor College JV 3-1.

“It was great to play at home,” said Head Coach Deedee Landes. The crowd enjoyed the games as well as the local youth volleyball team was there to cheer on the Larks.

The Larks came out strong against the Friends Falcons, winning game one 25-14. They stumbled in the second falling 22-25. Rallying to take game three 25-10 and close out the match the Larks won game four 25-21. Kylee Kasselman led the offense with 11 kills. Defensively Annalys Hanna and Faith Hallmark both had 12 digs each while Kasselman added 10.

Match two followed a similar pattern with the Hesston coming out strong over the Tabor Bluejays. The Larks took game one 25-17 only to fall in game two 27-25. Rebounding in game three to win 25-19 and finishing the match with a solid 25-15 win in game four. The offense was spread around for the Larks with kills coming from Kasselman (9), Jade Gleason (9), Samantha Rossin (8), Abby Busby (7), Breann Gomez (6) and four other Larks on the score sheet. Defensively Kasselman (13), Hallmark (12) and Gleason (8) had 33 of the Larks 62 digs.

“It was fun to come out and play hard using multiple lineups,” said Landes. “We adjusted well to the teams we were playing.”

The Larks played Saturday against McPherson JV and Neosho Community College dropping both matches. They will be on the road at Allen Community College for another Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference match on Wednesday, September 19.

Larks defeat Coyote JV

After a great weekend with quality matches, the Lark Volleyball team hit the court again Tuesday night against the Coyotes of Kansas Wesleyan University’s JV team. The Larks overmatched their opponents and came away with the clean 3-0 victory, 25-16, 25-10, 25-13.

“We had a chance to come out in different lineups and we were able to execute in a variety of different spaces and roles,” said Head Coach DeeDee Landes. “The girls did a great job focusing and playing to our level. We were able to control what we can control.”

Three Larks had a kill percentage above .600, Abby Busby, Breann Gomez and Paulina Diaz led the way with .667. Kylee Kasselman had nine kills and led on the defensive side of the ball with 12 digs.

The Larks will travel to La Junta, Colo., this weekend to participate in the Otero Junior College Tournament. They will be back in action at home on Wednesday, Sept. 5, against Neosho Community College at 6:30.

Lark volleyball ready for first year in KJCCC

It is that time of year, school is started and the Hesston College volleyball team is about to start their season. It will be the third season with Head Coach DeeDee Landes at the helm. The Larks will experience some changes in their schedule this season as they are now a member the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC). The Larks will have their work cut out for them as they try to improve on a 12-18 record from last year as new members in one of the best National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) conferences in the country.

The Larks return a great core of players for their sophomore season. Along with the eight returning players, the Larks add quality and depth with seven new freshmen.

“Our sophomores have come in ready to work hard and elevate our play this season,” said coach Landes. “The freshman class compliments the sophomores really well and we will be able to consistently put a competitive team on the court night in and night out.”

Faith Hallmark is the team leader and offensive general. Kylee Kassleman will be someone to look out for as she gets to the net offensively. Annalys Hanna will orchestrate the team on the defensive side of the ball.

“I am excited for this year to get going and expect great things,” said Coach Landes.

The Larks open their season on Friday, August 24, at the Vernon College Tournament (Texas). Their first home match will be against Kansas Wesleyan University on Tuesday, August 28, at 6 p.m. They will then open they KJCCC competition with Neosho Community College at home on Wednesday, September 5, at 6:30 p.m.

42 Larks named to NJCAA All-Academic Teams

The Hesston College athletic department announces that 42 student-athletes have been named National Junior College Athletic Association Academic All-Americans. To be an All-American a student needs to complete a minimum of 24 credits over the two semester school year. The 42 student-athletes represents 24% of Hesston’s total athletes on campus. Congratulations to the following students:

Named to the first team with a GPA of 4.0 were Landon Baer (North Lima, Ohio), men’s soccer; Jenna Boller (Kalona, Iowa), women’s soccer; Jeremy Deckinger (Wichita, Kan.), baseball; Jade Gleason (Brush, Colo.), volleyball; Cal Hartley (Benton, Kan.), men’s basketball; Luke Hertzler (Harrisonburg, Va.) men’s soccer; Kylee Kasselman (Claflin, Kan.), volleyball; Kate Kilmer (Goshen, Ind.), women’s cross country; Cassidy King (Cochranville, Pa.), volleyball; Kaylen Lassley (Salina, Kan.), softball; Levi Litwiller (Hopedale, Ill.), men’s cross country; Nicole Loewen (Hutchinson, Kan.), women’s tennis; Taylor Longenecker (Harrisonburg, Va.), men’s track and field; Faith Manickam (Hesston, Kan.), women’s soccer; Elizabeth Miller (Archbold, Ohio), women’s cross country; Rio Mori (Osaka, Japan), women’s tennis; Curtis Oesch (Caldwell, Idaho), men’s tennis; Hannah Rosenbaum (Richmond, Texas), women’s tennis; Jaelyn Rufenacht (Pettisville, Ohio), softball; Jenna Schneider (Lodi, Calif.), softball; Morgan Sterner (Lehi, Utah), women’s basketball; Harune Suzuki (Osaka, Japan), women’s tennis; Bryson White (Fort Worth, Texas), men’s soccer; and Sadie Winter (Newton, Kan.), women’s cross country.
Lark athletes named to the 2018-19 NJCAA All-Academic second team
Named to the All-Academic Second Team with a GPA of 3.80 to 3.99 were Sam Amarante (Lodi, Calif.), softball; Kenzie Brown (Estes Park, Colo.), women’s soccer; Andre Eanes (Harrisonburg, Va.) men’s cross country; Faith Hallmark (El Dorado, Kan.), volleyball; Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.), men’s basketball; Caitlyn Nichols (Mesa, Colo.), women’s basketball; and Payton Yehnert (Parker, Colo.) women’s soccer.
Lark athletes named to the 2018-19 NJCAA All-Academic third team
Named to the All-Academic Third Team with a GPA of 3.60 to 3.79 were Alexis Avalos (Yucaipa, Calif.), softball; Savannah Bontrager (Milford, Neb.), women’s cross country; Sierra Broce (Goddard, Kan.), women’s cross country; Annalys Hanna (Fraser, Colo.), volleyball; Jacob Harris (El Paso, Texas), baseball; Shaelyn Headrick (La Junta, Colo.), women’s basketball; Preston Judd (Hayden, Ala.), baseball; Kaede Nakada (Tokyo, Japan), women’s tennis; Miho Okuda (Chiba-ken, Japan), women’s soccer; Haley Unruh (Wilmore, Kan.), volleyball; and Lindsey Yoder (Millersburg, Ohio), women’s soccer.

Larks Volleyball defeats Cloud in 3

Friday night was a culmination of hard work and mental toughness in Hesston College’s straight set victory at home against Cloud County Community College. “We played really tough against Cloud and we were mentally ready to put together a good game,” said Head Coach DeeDee Landes. The Larks did just that winning three close set 25-20, 25-20 and 25-22.

Stand out performances on the evening were libero Kylie Brenneman who had a fantastic night defensively. She read hits and passed the ball well to set up the offense. Setter Faith Hallmark built on that solid defensive effort and ran the offense effectively. Haley Unruh led the offense with ten kills, followed closely by Kylee Kasselman (9) and Sierrah Long (8). The team rounded off the overall performance with some key blocks.

Coach Landes was most impressed with the team’s preparation. “The girls worked really hard in practice and it showed” said Landes. The Larks will play at Labette Community College (Parson) this Wednesday and at Metropolitan Community College-Longview for a triangular this Friday.

Larks volleyball takes two at Homecoming Tri

The Larks enjoyed their homecoming Saturday with two wins at home, defeating Pratt Community College and Kansas Wesleyan University in straight sets. The opening match was close in the first two sets but Hesston never trailed, winning 25-21. The critical moment in the match was in game two with the score tied at 22. Pratt served and a nice rally ensued. A free pass allowed the Larks to set up their offense and Haley Unruh hit off the block for the point. The set ended 26-24. The Larks cruised in game 3, winning 25-16.

Match two saw the Larks build and get stronger throughout the contest, winning 25-22, 25-17 and 25-11 over KWU. Sam Rossin and Cassidy King both led the attack with eight kills each. Leading the way of some great team defense was Kylie Brenneman with 12 of the team’s 50 digs.

“It was a great weekend to play at home after a long time on the road and to pick up two wins,” said Head Coach Deedee Landes. “It was good timing to play well together as a team and find confidence in ourselves again. We are excited for a big week ahead of us!”

This week will be a big one as the Larks have two regional opponents, Allen County Community College and Kansas City Kansas Community College, at home. Allen County will be in Hesston on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and KCK will be here on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Larks will also play Saturday at home against the McPherson College JV squad with the game at 2 p.m.

Larks volleyball defeats Neosho in four

What makes small college athletics so much fun? The answer could have been found last night in Yost Center as the Larks opened their home volleyball campaign against Neosho County Community College. Hesston ground out a four-set win (25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21) in a gym full with a raucous crowd. Students, faculty and staff as well as community members joined in on the hype to set an incredible atmosphere and helped spur the Larks onto victory.

“I am so proud of the girls,” said Head Coach DeeDee Landes. “It was a tough win and things weren’t coming easy for us, however we were resilient, fought hard and stayed in the grind.” Sierrah Long led the offense with 14 kills while Faith Hallmark leds the defense with 29 digs.

“We were mentally tough and responded well in pressure. That’s why we got the win,” said Landes. “Great home opener!”

The Larks are on the road Friday against Sterling College JV. They will be home again next Wednesday, September 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Volleyball team ready to compete

Excitement is buzzing around the Hesston College volleyball program this year. Head Coach DeeDee Landes is excited about her team for the upcoming 2017 season.

“We will be able to compete at a high level and I know that these girls have put a lot of time and effort into conditioning this off season and coming in ready to play.” Coach Landes says. “They will work hard to get better on the court and use every opportunity to learn life lessons. That gets me excited.”

In hoping to build off of her first year leading the team, Coach Landes expects her sophomores to be keys to the success of this season. Freshman will also to play vital roles, Landes asserts. “I am really excited to coach this team this year,” Landes says. “It is my first complete class that I have recruited and so I feel like I know each girl and her family a little more than last year which is exciting to me.”

With the cohesion built last season, a quality off season and the new and exciting connection with all of the players, the Larks hope to better their 2016 record of 14-16.

Larks Volleyball will take the court in their annual Maroon and Gold scrimmage at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, in Yost Center and will host a scrimmage with McPherson College at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 23. They start their season at Lamar (Colo.) Community College Tournament Friday, Aug. 25, and open at home the following Wednesday vs. Neosho County Community College.

Seven commit to Larks Volleyball for 2017

volleyball signees composite photoThe Hesston College women’s volleyball program is proud to announce the commitments of seven student-athletes to join the Larks for the 2017 season. The Larks welcome four players from Kansas and one each from South Dakota, Colorado and Pennsylvania.

The group of seven incoming freshmen will join four returning sophomores to this year’s fall roster.

“I am really excited about this class that we have coming in next year,” Head Coach DeeDee Landes commented. “We have a lot of talent which will allow us to be fairly deep in several positions.” The Larks will look to improve on their 14-16 record in 2016 and coach Landes believes this class will help the program continue in the right direction. “I am really excited about what each girl is going to bring to the table next year and it will be great to see them grow together as a family and compete on the court​. I think that each of these girls will be a great fit for Hesston College and will thrive here.”

Joining the Larks this fall are:

Olivia Duerksen, MB, Goessel (Kan.) High School – also a basketball and track athlete for the Bluebirds, Duerksen earned all-league honors (2nd team in 2015, 1st team in 2016) as well as 2016 All State Tournament Team and KVA 2nd Team All State (2016).

Faith Hallmark, ​Setter, Libero, Augusta (Kan.) High School – a four-year volleyball letter winner for the Orioles, Ha​l​lmark earned 2nd team all-conference honors her freshman year and 1st team as a sophomore, junior and senior (AV-CTL-III) and was a 4A State​ All Tournament team member her final three years. Ha​ll​mark will major in nursing.

Kylee Kasselman, OH, Central Plains High School (Claflin, Kan.) – Kasselman earned Central Prairie League 1st team, KVA All-tournament team (2015-16), KVA all state 2A-2nd team (2015) KVA all state 2A-1st team (2016) honors. The Oilers won state in volleyball in 2015 and in basketball in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Kasselman plans to major in nursing.

Cassidy King, OH, Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite School – earned first team league all-star honors in 2015 and 2016 and served as team captain. King also played softball and basketball for the Blazers. She plans to major in sports education and coaching.

Autumn Lungwitz, RS, OH, Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, Wichita, Kan. – competed in volleyball four years and basketball for three years for the Golden Eagles. Lungwitz plans to major in nursing.

Samantha Rossin, M​B​, Douglas County High School (Castle Rock, Colo.) – a member of the 2016 Husky varsity team, she collected 22 kills and 30 blocks. (5A Continental league). Rossin will major in accounting.

Hannah Yoder, MB, Freeman (S.D.) Academy – also a basketball and track athlete for the Bearcats. Freeman Academy’s volleyball team was district runner up in 2014 and 2015 and compiled the best record in school history in 2015. Yoder played her freshman year in Iowa and joined the Larks this semester.

Larks fall in straight sets to end season

The Hesston College volleyball season came to a close, as the eighth seeded Llarks fell on the road 3-0 (14-25, 18-25, 20-25) to host and top seed Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College in the district semifinal round.

Freshman Sierrah Long (Highland, Calif.) led the way with 10 kills. Sophomore Jessanna Nebel (Hesston, Kan.) had 21 assists and sophomore Ally Vogt (Hesston, Kan.) had two aces in the loss for Hesston College.

“Our girls played with all of their heart and made many good runs on this very talented team. We just couldn’t put together a consistent run long enough. Hard to end the season but they fought hard until the end.” Coach DeeDee Landes commented following the loss.

Ranked sixth in the NJCAA Div. II, the Ravens improved to 37-1 overall after defeating Fort Scott CC in the district championship and will advance to the national tournament. The Larks season concludes with a 14-16 record in their first season under Coach Landes.

Volleyball falls to Neosho County to close regular season

The Hesston College volleyball team lost to Neosho County Community College 25-13, 25-13, 25-17 in Chanute to conclude the regular season.

The Panthers jumped in front early in the first set to take control of the match. Hesston struggled throughout the first and second set but played better in the third set eventually losing 25-17.

Freshman Sierrah Long (Highland, Calif) was one of the bright spots in the losing effort, leading the way with 11 kills for the Larks. Sophomore Jessana Nebel (Hesston, Kan.) contributed 19 assists.

The Larks’ record falls to 14-15. The win pushes Neosho County to 20-11 overall. The Larks will travel to Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College November 5 to take on the Red Ravens in the first round of the Region VI playoffs. The match starts at 11 a.m.

Volleyball takes down Pirates and Threshers

The Hesston College volleyball team welcomed the Pirates from Independence (Kan.) Community College in the first of two home matches on the weekend. The Larks dropped the first set 25-20 before rallying and winning three straight sets – 20-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22 – to win 3-1 overall. Sophomore Jessanna Nebel (Hesston, Kan.) lead the charge with 16 kills, sophomore Kortney Cunningham (Almena, Kan.) added eight blocks and freshman Haley Unruh (Coldwater, Kan.) chipped in seven. The Larks showed some resilience in the middle sets after falling down a set early. “We were steady – not great, not awful,”” Coach Landes commented following the match.

Hesston college followed up Friday’s performance with a clean sweep on Saturday of neighboring Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) JV 3-0 25-20, 25-20, 25-18. The Larks improve to 14-14 overall.

The volleyball team will close out the regular season in at Neosho County Community College (Chanute, Kan.) on Tuesday November 1. They have a chance to end the regular season winning three straight matches and finishing above .500. The match against the Panthers will begin at 6:30 p.m.