This archived article was written by: Kayla Newman
Utah State University Eastern has undergone extensive changes in its athletic department to better the university. A new logo, new colors and new gear are just some changes its made for the better.
The coaching staff for the women’s volleyball is another change for the better; getting a new head and assistant coach is just the change that needed to be made to take Eastern’s volleyball team to the next level.
Stacy Mortenson was named assistant coach for the Eagles. She is no rookie to the game of volleyball, or to USUE.
Growing up in Orem, Utah, Mortenson was recruited to Price to compete on the women’s volleyball and basketball team in 1995-96, back when USUE was College of Eastern Utah. She is blown away by how far the athletics have come since she was a college athlete.
“The college has changed a lot since I went to school. From what I observed, especially in the athletic department, I see a lot more opportunities and resources for the athletes than I had when I played. They also offer more options with four-year degrees which help recruit better student athletes to the school,” she said
Under the direction of their new coaches, the volleyball team has exceeded this season. The positive coaching philosophy the coaches implement has worked well among the women.
Mortenson has high hopes for this team. “I want to see how far this team can go. The sky is the limit. If they stay focused, work as a team and believe in themselves, this team can compete with anyone. They have proven themselves against a hard conference and I believe they haven’t even hit their peak yet – that is really exciting!”
Coaching is no easy task. The long weekends, being away from family and the daily commitments to practice can be a lot. Mortenson took this job with no hesitation. She wants to take away a positive experience as a coach.
“I didn’t go looking for this opportunity… it kind of found me. I’m grateful that it did! I have had the chance to coach at all ages and levels of volleyball. With young kids, I found it difficult to find the time to coach, so I put coaching aside for awhile.
“Now that my family is getting a little older, they are the biggest reason why I accepted. They did not want this opportunity to slip by. They are my biggest supporters and I am so grateful for them. It has been really fun to work with Danielle [Jensen]. The girls are amazing athletes on and off the court! I want to give my all for my family and the team.”