Curnes signs with Cottey College

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Cassville senior volleyball player Sydney Curnes signed a national letter of intent to play volleyball at Cottey College in Nevada next season. Pictured in the front row with Curnes are her parents, Debora and Greg, of Cassville. In the back row, from left, are: David Large, Cassville athletic director; Marla Foreman, Cottey College volleyball coach; and Jennifer Nichols, Cassville volleyball coach. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville senior's college dream now a reality

The feeling was still a bit surreal for Cassville High School volleyball player Sydney Curnes last Wednesday, as she signed her national letter of intent to play for Cottey College in Nevada next season.

"Today is the realization of the biggest dream I have ever had," Curnes said. "I have played volleyball as long as I can remember and getting to play at college is a dream come true."

Curnes stated there isn't an aspect of the game she doesn't love.

"It was love at first competition," Curnes said. "I always have enjoyed playing with my teammates. Going to camps and making life-long friendships has made the work worth it all."

The senior has been a steady force for the Lady Wildcats volleyball squad.

"Her dedication to the sport has made her an inspiration to those around her," said Jennifer Nichols, Cassville volleyball coach. "With her involvement with club teams and summer programs, volleyball has almost become a year-round event for Sydney. Her passion for the game really helped those around her on our team."

Curnes is a three-time varsity letter winner for the Lady Wildcats volleyball team. During her senior season Curnes led Cassville in digs (216) and aces (33).

When it came to selecting a college to play for, Curnes narrowed her choice down to two -- Labette Community College and Cottey. Curnes said Cottey won out for two main reasons: Academics and coaching staff.

"Every school I talked with focused just on the athletic side of their programs," Curnes said. "When I visited the campus and met with the team and coaches everything just kind of clicked. Coach [Marla] Foreman emphasized making her players well-rounded as students and athletes."

Foreman was honest about her expectations for her athletes.

"We want out players to receive a great education," Foreman said. "We try to focus on the student aspect of student athlete. Most players aren't going to go on and become huge stars, but a quality education is something that they can utilize the rest of their life."

In November 2013, Curnes went to a tryout in Nevada and quickly stood out with her play during the camp.

"You could tell that Sydney had played a lot of volleyball," Foreman said. "She actually got sick while at the tryout and had to sit out, but she had performed well enough that we felt comfortable offering her a scholarship."

Foreman sees Curnes filling an immediate need at the libero position, or as a defensive specialist. She will also get time as a server.

"Sydney is a good passer. She sees the floor well and is able to put the ball in good spots," she said. "She has a nice jump serve that we want to utilize."

Curnes, the daughter of Greg and Deborah Curnes of Cassville, had practical advice for up-and-coming players.

"Don't listen to the negatives, they will only keep you down," she said. "Stay focused on your goals and work hard. If you put you mind to it, you can do whatever you want to do."

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