"They are all very talented athletes individually," Rogers says of the varsity squad, comprised primarily of seniors and juniors. "One of my first goals is to help them become a more cohesive unit on the court, which is something they've been struggling with. But once they figure out the flow of the team and become more comfortable playing together, I think we will really head toward succeeding at the regional level."
The three volleyball teams, which boast a total of 32 freshman through senior players, enjoy their first home games of the season this afternoon when they meet Dolores at the Telluride Middle/High School gymnasium. Games begin at 4 p.m., with the varsity team game starting at 7 p.m.
The varsity squad's starting six - THS seniors Genna Kirsch, Ashley Glenn, Kelsey McCreedy, Lily Coulter, Lindsey Chandler, and Chelsey Goldsworthy - are ready to face the challenge of a tough competitive season, says coach Rogers.
"This is a dynamic group of young athletes," she says. "I've been very impressed with their composure. They come to practice ready to work hard, but also are able to laugh and have a good time. I think this could be one of those teams that could take it all the way, if they have the support of the school and community."
Rogers is quite familiar with what it takes for a team to succeed on the volleyball court; a coach for more than 15 years, Rogers took a Telluride volleyball team to the State Championships in 1991, then moved to California where she coached a team that won the California State Finals title.
After returning to Telluride, she coached the high school volleyball team in 2001, when many of this season's starting seniors were freshmen. After taking time off to hoomeschool her two children, Rogers has now returned to coaching because, as she puts it, the girls on the team "worked their magic of persuasion.
"This is a team that will do what it takes and work very hard for me. They know I'm a strict coach, but they respect that and want that," Rogers explains.