Category Archives: Bronco Volleyball

Kovačević excited to play for Niagara next season

Mirna Kovačević signs her LOI to play for Niagara.

NMMI Sports Press

Mirna Kovacevic sets a ball to a hitter in 2017.

Bronco volleyball player Mirna Kovačević has high praise for the New Mexico Military Institute and what it has helped her achieve.

“I can talk about this all day. I really loved my time here from Day 1,” she said. “Well, not Day. 1. I hated Day 1. But from the first week to the end. And I’m really excited to go home, but I can’t imagine leaving the people behind. And I really hope we’re going to see each other after. I’ve gained so much experience. I learned a lot more about volleyball. I learned the language. I bettered my grades. I learned leadership. How to be in charge of people. How to be part of a crew. So it’s done a lot for me and I do not regret a minute of it.”

All this and more the 6-foot-2 sophomore setter from Serbia will bring to her new school, DI Niagara University in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Kovačević said she was as excited to go on to the next stage of her volleyball career as she was to come to the Institute.

“I was screaming this morning when I found out I got the papers,” she said. “It was like the first time (head coach) Shelby (Forchtner) offered me (a scholarship.) It was the same exact feeling. I’m so excited to go on to the next chapter of my life and just do great things. Because I feel like I can do so much more with that confidence. And just do what I love. That’s the most important thing.”

Forchtner agrees with that excitement.

“I’m just excited to watch her grow for two more years,” she said. “When she got here, she probably had some of the best hands of anybody we’d ever seen, in 15 years. She just needed some fine tuning. It’s been nice to watch her grow for two years, but I know there’s a lot more in there, too. So it’s going to be fun to watch during her senior year and see the growth over the four years. I think she’s going to be able to go in right away and contribute to their program and start for them, and that’s exactly what they need in the setting position. She just needs to she carry over what she did this year to the next level.”

The Purple Eagles had their best MAAC finish ever in 2017, going 18-10 overall and 14-4 in conference before losing to rival Iona in the MAAC tournament. It’s a finish Kovacevic hopes to reverse next year.

 

Mirna Kovacevic poses for a head shot during the 2017 season.

“They are really struggling with that team, so I hope I can help them reach that goal of winning that conference,” she said.

If Kovačević’s can post similar stats at Niagara to those she recorded at NMMI, it might do exactly that. Mirna played in 42 matches this season for the Lady Broncos, had 661 assists, 33 aces, 195 digs, and 48 kills with a .318 kill percentage.

The setter is excited about new head coach Donna Day — a two-year assistant coach — and the team.

“She’s an amazing person,” Kovacevic said. “She reminds me of my previous coach, Shelby. I met the team and we just bonded instantly and I can see them as being my sisters, and I see them bringing me in as their sister, too. So I hope we’re going to connect on the same level and I’m really excited and looking forward to it.”

The other reason for choosing the school is her major, which is hospitality and tourism, which none of the other schools she visited offered. The sophomore hopes to eventually work on a cruise ship, which suits her ebullient personality.

And it’s that personality Forchnter said they’ll miss the most.

“She possesses a lot of leadership qualities that have helped the last two years in terms of team unity. She enjoys her teammates and her teammates enjoy her and she possesses a lot of motherly skills, in terms of making sure she’s got all of her stuff and being on time and taking care of other people around her. Those things are hard to find in 18-, 19-, 20-year old kids, nowadays.

Kovacevic closed out her signing interview with the same enthusiasm for the Institute that she started with

“I want to thank so many people here, but most of all coaches Shelby and (assistant coach) Alonso (Ibarra) who worked with me in building my confidence and building my athletic abilities. Just thanks to my entire team and everybody who’s been with me through the whole process: my teachers and the TLAs and the Dean. It’s so amazing and I love it here.

Bustillos signs to play volleyball at UTEP

Brianna Bustillos signs her LOI to play at UTEP next season.

NMMI Sports Press

Brianna Bustillos passes a ball to the setter in a game earlier in 2017.

Bronco volleyball player Briana Bustillos won’t be going far from home to continue her college career, and that’s just the way she likes it.

“I’m a homebody,” the soft-spoken libero/defensive specialist said. “I love being at home, and that helped me choose UTEP.”

The University of Texas at El Paso, who she’ll play for as a junior, is just steps away from Chamberino, where her family lives, and Gadsden High School, where she graduated. It’s not unfamiliar territory.

“Back in high school, I just went to the [UTEP] gym and back for tournaments. But I went on a visit this time and really saw the campus. It’s comfortable and just felt more like home,” the sophomore said.

Bustillos was a walk-on with Miner rival New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, but came to NMMI as a sophomore, where she helped the Broncos earn a third-place national finish last November.

“I think Bree definitely had the ability to play at the Division I level right out of high school,” said Institute coach Shelby Forchtner. “I think this was a good place for her to just get back to all the things she was talking about: the love of the game; the basics; the communication. Sometimes you can lose your passion for something really easily in a small amount of time because of your surroundings or because of things that you’re doing or because of other people. I think she just really needed to get back to all of those things that were meaningful to her.”

Bustillos agrees NMMI was a big plus for her.

Brianna Bustillos poses for a head shot in 2017.

“The main thing I learned from here is confidence and discipline,” she said. “I’ve been so shy all my life, and playing volleyball I’ve been really quiet. Once in a while I scream a little bit, but here it’s really just brought out the player in me: getting to talk to people; my communications skills; talking to everybody; being in the weight room; just mentally focused. Everything has grown, physically and mentally.”

Forchtner thinks Bustillos will make a big impact as soon as she gets to the Conference USA school.

“She’s probably the best defender and the best person we have in serve-receive right now,” the coach said. “So UTEP is kind of getting a steal in this kid, because I think she’s going to be able to go in there and take over their defense fairly quickly. It’s going to be fun it watch that.”

“She’s a very, very, very well-rounded athlete. If Bree was two or three inches taller, she’d be a six-rotation stud. Even now, at her height, she can get out there and swing just as well as some of our outside hitters. It’s pretty impressive to watch her.”

In her solo year at NMMI, Bustillos saw action in 38 matches and 134 sets, picking up 188 digs (1.40 digs/set) and registering 11 assists.

Brianna Bustillos serves during a game in 2017.

At UTEP, she’ll be studying biology with an eye on working in the field of radiology, and playing on a team she said she feels very comfortable with.

The girls, I played with two of them in club before, so they’re really good friends of mine, and the rest of the girls are really caring. They came off really friendly from the very start, so I’m excited to be playing with them.”

But she also had nothing but praise for everyone at NMMI, extending thanks all around.

“Well, one, the coaches, because without them I wouldn’t be here and getting a second chance to play volleyball,” she said. “And second, the girls, because I feel like they’ve made me love the game even more. And third, the strength and conditioning coaches, because of course they made me grow mentally and they helped me focus so much and just grow as a player on the court as well.”

 

Landreth signs with D1 MSU

Mckayla Landreth signs her Letter of Intent to play at Montana State.

NMMI Sports Press

McKayla Land

Bronco volleyball coach Shelby Forchtner has coached two Landreth sisters, and after their seasons and seasonings at NMMI, both advanced to play at the next level.

After helping her team to a 31-12 overall mark, a Region V West conference tournament championship, and a third-place finish at the NJCAA D-I national championships in 2017, younger sister McKayla Landreth was signed earlier this month by Montana State University in Bozeman.

“I liked the coaching staff, and the girls, I felt like I knew them already,” the 6-foot-1 sophomore said of her decision. “I felt comfortable around them and around the coaching staff.”

So while the weather might be a big change for the South Carolina native with family in Fort Sumner — she’s ready to step onto the floor with the Bobcats, and that’s something Forchtner is proud of.

“I remember the day that McKayla came on a recruiting visit here,” she said. “She talked a lot about making the decision to come here and wanting to play at the next level, especially the Division I level. I’m just really proud of her that she’s done everything we asked her to do so she can accomplish her goals and her dreams. It’s cool when you have somebody who openly says what she wants and then it happens for

McKayla Landreth winds up for a big swing.

them.”

Landreth will play middle for the ‘Cats, and when she’s not on the court in Bozeman, Landreth will be studying broadcast journalism.

“She started every game as a freshman and a sophomore,” Forchtner said. “She was an all-conference player both years. She was the No. 4 blocker in the nation as a freshman. She made the all-tournament team at this year’s national championships. She had numerous player-of-the-week honors for the WJCAC. She’s just a person who constantly gets out there and works hard and does what you ask her to do.”

Her stats show why she earned so many honors.

In 81 career games with NMMI, she had 645 kills, 2.16 per set, picking up double figures in 12 games last season, including a season-high 13 in two matches. She hit .230 from the field and tallied 366 blocks during her Bronco career, leading NMMI to the No.-1 spot in the nation last fall with a 1.22 average per contest.

Landreth, who competed in two national tournaments, said the record-setting season was exciting.

“Just to experience going undefeated in conference was cool, but we still had more to accomplish,” she said. “And then going to nationals, at first, when we went there and lost the first set, I was kind of nervous. Because I didn’t want to do what we did last year. But after that, it was kind of like, ‘OK. This is where we’re going to pick up and just finish like we always did.”

And she’s ready to continue that success at MSU.

Mckayla Landreth poses for a picture on her recruiting trip to MSU.

“I’m really excited to go. I’m ready to get there already,” she said.

“I have a really good feeling, after talking to this coaching staff as much as I have the past few months, that she’s going to be able to go in there and do exactly what she did for NMMI for them,” Forchtner said.

And second-year Bobcat head coach Daniel Jones sounds just as excited.

“We are over the moon to have McKayla joining us,” he said. “We are going to look to her to provide maturity and leadership. She’s a quick, explosive athlete who is going to contribute both offensively and defensively.”

And to live up to those expectations, Forchtner said, all Landreth needs to do is believe in her abilities.

“They hand-picked her over a lot of other people. They made the choice not to recruit any other junior college middles after they saw her play,” the coach said. “They put a lot of emphasis on trying to get her to that school, so that says a lot. There were a lot of really good middles at the national tournament, so for them to see her and say, ‘That’s the kid we want,’ she should have confidence that she can step in there and do what they need her to do.”

The Road to Nationals

NMMI Sports Press

The Bronco volleyball team had a record breaking year in 2017: they swept through the conference undefeated; won the regional tournament; topped the No. 4 and No. 5 teams in the country in the first two rounds of the NJCAA national tourney; and just missed beating the top-seeded squad in the semifinals before finishing third in the country.

Add in a pair of All-Americans and an Assistant Coach of the Year honor, and in every respect 2017 was a banner year for the Lady Broncos. But ask coach Shelby Forcthner about the accomplishments, and she says it’s nothing she hasn’t been wanting since she began coaching at NMMI.

“My very first year to recruit, I would tell all my kids repeatedly, ‘I want to win a national championship. I want to win a national championship. I was on a team that finished fifth in the nation, and I want everybody that I coach to experience that, too. We talk a lot about that stuff with every team. This year’s team put in all the hard work and did everything that we’ve asked them to do, and it’s just cool that they went above and beyond what I did as a player. It just makes you feel good that they got to experience it all.”

Maybe it wasn’t a championship, but for anyone following the Broncos this season, a third-place finish at nationals probably came as a surprise. The start of the season wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. The Broncos had a good effort at their home tournament, but then only managed to beat one nationally-ranked team during the various tournaments they competed in through mid October.

But that, Forchtner said, was OK.

“You want your teams to be better at the end than they are in the beginning. I see a lot of teams on our opening weekend that looked phenomenal, and then they don’t come together at the end of October or beginning of November. I love that our team always gets better and better from the beginning of the season to the end. There hasn’t ever been a season where we’ve started out amazing then gone in the tank and I really like to see that progression in our kids.”

And despite the ups-and-downs at tournaments, NMMI was making it look easy in WJCAC matches, sweeping by almost every team they faced in straight sets; only West Texas (3-2) and Midland (3-1) managed to take a set from the Broncos during regular season conference play.

“It’s great to experience being 10-0 and winning a conference championship outright,” Forchtner said. “This group of kids worked hard and showed up for every conference match. They were ready to go beat people on Wednesdays and Saturdays – that’s was a great feeling, too.”

But after an off-weekend to celebrate, Forchtner told her team to forget about that perfect regular season conference mark, as the Region V West Championship Tournament was next.

“I was pretty harsh about it. I just straight up told them, ‘It’s over. You got to celebrate this weekend. You were 10-0. We’ve never been 10-0. Now you throw that all out the window because it means absolutely nothing going into the conference tournament.’ And I think our kids really took hold of that. I think sometimes if you don’t address that, you go in pretty cocky. ‘Oh, we’ve beat everybody here. Who’s our first opponent?’ And then it’s not as easy as you thought it would be, because your head is bigger than the gym you’re standing in. So I really thought knocking them back down to size and telling them it doesn’t matter was important. You’ve still got to go win all this, and they did. They really went out and played very, very well in the regional tournament as well, beating people in three again.”

After getting a bye in the first round, NMMI topped both the Westerners and Chaparrals in straight sets to earn the team’s fourth visit to nationals in five years.

In previous trips to the NJCAA National Championships tournament, with but one exception, the Broncos had gone two and out. This year,despite coming in as the 13 seed, Forchtner was thinking more than just positive heading into the Nov. 16 match vs. No. 4-ranked Western Nebraska Community College – she had a special feeling the moment she saw how the bracket was paired.

“I feel like God parted the Red Sea, honestly,” she said. “I mean, the minute that I saw how all that stuff (the bracket) came out, and the top four teams, that’s exactly what I thought.

She watched videos of the Cougars and of Hill College, a team that she expected to see in the second round. The Broncos had played poorly against the Rebels in the Tyler Tournament, losing 3-0, and the team wanted revenge.

“I knew, that if my team played like they had been playing in the month of October, that we could beat them, that we could get this win back,” she said. “I was also very excited to see we had the No. 1 team in the nation on our side. Most people probably wouldn’t have been very excited about that, but every game that I watched on them, I was like, ‘We can do a lot of the same things this team is doing if we play at a high level.’”

So even before getting on the bus, the squad was thinking positive. And they proved that in their first two matches in Hutchinson, Kans., upsetting Western Nebraska 3-1 and sweeping by Hill 3-0.

Then came the match against No. 1 Miami-Dade, a team that was undefeated all season.

“I told my kids before we played the first match that we had to do two things extremely, extremely well, and we had to do one thing pretty good, because we already do the other things good, for the most part.”

She told her squad they had to serve well, receive tough and block more than they had been.

“If we could just block more balls than we had been recently, then it would show [Miami-Dade] that we were at the same level as them,” she said. “So I was actually pretty excited to play the No. 1 team. I had no jitters. I wasn’t scared. In fact, I wanted to be their one loss and I knew I had the tools to do it if they played well.”

And for three sets, NMMI played amazingly. The Broncos lost two sets 25-23 and won one 25-17.

“The first three sets, we just played some of the best volleyball we could have possibly ever played,” Forchtner said.

And if one of those 25-23 losses had gone the other way, the match would have gone to five games with another upset possible, Forchtner said. But the Institute couldn’t hold on, falling to the Sharks 25-17 in the final fourth set.

Still, Forchtner said, “I thought that was some of the best volleyball my kids have played all year in that game against them.”

Even with the semifinals loss, Broncos had gone farther than any team before them – but they wanted to go out with a win. They’ve get that chance in the consolation championship match vs. Tyler Junior College – a battle for third place.

“Going into Tyler, we had already beat them, but I knew it was just going to be a battle,” Forchtner said. “They were going to feel like we did against Hill: that they wanted to get that loss back. It felt really good to win in the first two sets, because we were really on top of everything: serving tough, receiving well, blocking shots. Everything that we had been doing the last three games we were doing really well against Tyler.”

The team then hit a bit of a slump in Sets 3 and 4, but pulled out the victory with a solid Set 5.

“It was just a breath of fresh air to win that fifth set, because my kids just worked and worked and worked” the coach said.

’Fourth in the nation would have been an excellent accomplishment, but third, with a win over the team that beat us at nationals last year it is just great,” said sophomore McKayla Landreth. “It was a good finish for a lot of things, and it just helped with my next chapter of volleyball after NMMI.”

And the next chapter is what everyone is looking forward to. The sophomores are hoping to move on to four-year schools, and most, like Landreth, say everything the Institute did for them will help with that.

“NMMI has done a lot for me, not just in sports but in schooling and the military aspect as well,” she said. “I feel like when I go to another college I’ll be more responsible and know how to plan out my day and time schedule. Then with volleyball, it’s made me stronger, especially with (Daniel) Ford and (Tyrell) Curtis and working out a lot. The off-season really kind of makes you tough, and whenever you’re in a five-game situation, and everyone else is tired, we’re still in shape and ready to go. I think that was a good experience being here at NMMI.”

“The No. 1 thing I learned from going to NMMI was just having thicker skin and just being a more responsible and successful person,” said sophomore Hannah David. “I feel like I wouldn’t be the same person I am now if I hadn’t gone to NMMI. It’s taught me to be very precise, disciplined, definitely, and it just made me a more people person.”

And the continuing freshmen are looking ahead to another successful season, and developing as cadet-student-athletes.

“I’d like to be more of a leader,” said Karime Raygoza, a freshman from Las Vegas, N.M. “I’d like to guide us to being the best and win first place at nationals next time.”

“I will continue to work hard and train to prepare myself to be a better player and I know all of this is possible by the amount of support that I have received from NMMI,” echoed Paola Rivera-Herrera, the Bronco freshman who won a pair of All-American awards this year.

For the coaches, the key is replacing those powerful sophomores who will be moving on.

“We’re still going to continue the recruiting process, which means going to national tournaments throughout this club season this semester. We’ll be doing lots of traveling and looking around.” said assistant coach Alonso Ibarra.

But with that said, there’s still time to savor the excitement of the past season, and the team camaraderie that made it all possible.

Post-season accolades continue for third-in-nation Bronco volleyball

NMMI Sports Press

The record-breaking year for the Bronco volleyball team continues even after the successful season wrapped up with a third-place finish at the NJCAA National Championship tournament.

For the first time ever, the NMMI team had two players picked as NJCAA DI All-Americans, a player selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All American team, and a coach named as the AVCA Two-Year College Assistant Coach of the Year.

Karen “Paola” Rivera-Herrera and Hannah Davis were the tandem tapped for the NJCAA All-American award; Rivera-Herrera as the AVCA All-American; and assistant coach Alonso Ibarra garnered the Coach of the Year award.

Ibarra was nominated by head coach Shelby Forchtner, who said the award was especially sweet because most honorees come from the team that wins the national title.

“Most assistant coaches get it if their team wins a national championship. That happens a lot,” she said. “So I’m really excited he got it because he only has two years of work here at NMMI, and we’ve been very successful in both of those years.”

The honor came for the El Paso native despite having to coach at nationals in a cast after Achilles tendon surgery.

“That definitely didn’t stop me from doing what I love,” he laughed. “In the videos from our national tournament you still saw me hopping around. I was just trying to do my thing: get excited, throw my fist pumps when I get a chance to do it, still give it my 100 percent – because these girls deserve how far we got and I just wanted to be there for them.”

Ibarra came to the Institute from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2016, and immediately began making a difference.

“I think he’s very deserving of the award,” Forchtner said. “He does a lot of work and he puts a lot of time in, especially as far as the kids individually. He’s a well-rounded coach – does a lot of good things defensively and offensively, and that’s a really good tool.”

“I’m really honored to get the award,” Ibarra said. “It feels really good when someone puts you in a position of being nominated for a big award and receiving it.”

Ibarra is bilingual, which helps both in recruiting and translating for Spanish-speaking players. And while the assistant downplayed what he does — giving the players the credit for all the team’s success — Forchtner said it’s Ibarra’s skills as a “people person” that help him the most.

“It’s just great having somebody who enjoys the game of volleyball as much as I do,” continued Forchtner. “I think he’s a good buffer for my personality sometimes, and I think the kids really enjoy being around him.”

The All-American honors were equally special, since NMMI has never earned more than one NJCAA award in a season. Herrera-Rivera and Davis were part of a trio of unanimous nominees from the WJCAC conference, two of only 30 players from the entire NJCAA Division I to be named to the All-American squad.

Yet Forchtner thought others on the No. 3-finishing Broncos were deserving as well, noting it was really hard to choose who to nominate.

“This year, with this team and the balance and the dynamic that we had, obviously we could have had two more people up there,” she said. “McKayla Landreth is just as talented, and Karime (Raygoza), our little freshman, does some really, really good stuff out there as well. Hannah and Paola just set themselves apart statistically throughout the entire season, carrying a little bit higher percentage weight in terms of overall stats.”

Davis, a 6-foot-1 sophomore from Utah, was the kill leader for the Broncos, tallying 363 kills in 42 matches, good for 25th in nation. She was second on the squad in total blocks with 132, placing her at No. 17 nationally. She also added 34 service aces.

“We love that she could shut down people on the right side, blocking other outside hitters,” Forchtner said. “She did a great job for us offensively and she’s also a great server. Hannah is just a very well-rounded package and I honestly believe she’s going to go to a great Division I or Division II program and be very successful there, because she still has a really good ceiling ahead of her.”

Davis was happy and excited to earn the honor.

““I am honored and humbled to receive such an awesome award. I just felt like it all paid off, all the hard work I’d put in for volleyball and in the corps and in the classroom,” she said.

“I spent a lot of extra time writing down what I needed to work on,” Davis said. “After practices, I’d write down things I needed to do more of and things I needed to do less of. You always need to have a mental note of what you need to work on every day and keeping a constant track of everything, rather than just going into the gym and going through the motions, helped.”

“Hannah is competitive,” Forchtner said. “She’s dynamic. She’s a workaholic. She not a kid who just likes the gym and likes volleyball, she likes the weight room. She likes to run. She’s just a total package in terms of NMMI and everything she’s done here. She’s great in the corps. Rarely gets in trouble. She’s great in the classroom. Her teachers love her. She’s a phenomenal teammate. There’s not anybody on our team who does not like Hannah.”

But Davis also credited her teammates, especially for that big kill number.

“By far my favorite thing about volleyball is just getting an amazing kill right after getting a good pass,” she said. “Because there’s no way you can get an amazing kill unless you get an amazing pass from the passer and an amazing set. It just all comes together. It’s just money.”

Davis is still keeping her options open regarding her next step. She’s talking with four-year schools across the country, where she’ll both play and study biology and health sciences. And whatever happens, she says she owes it all to Forchtner and Ibarra.

“I would thank my coaches for getting me here where I am,” she said. “They definitely pushed me past my limits and made me a better athlete and student. They’re always raising the bar high for me. I’m never comfortable staying at a certain level. They’re always making me want to be more and more hungry, so I’m always striving to be better every day.”

With five repeat All-Americans on the NJCAA list this year, freshman Rivera-Herrera could be the first Bronco to earn double honors next year. She is the first NMMI volleyball player to earn an AVCA award, which is chosen from all junior college players at all levels, including the NJCAA, California Community College Athletic Association, Florida College System Activities Association and all independents. She is one of 47 players receiving that award.

This year, she played in every match, racking up 283 kills, 744 assists, and 414 digs. Her 72 service aces on the season was good for third in the nation.

“Paola is a great kid for us because she does everything well,” Forchtner said. “She’s our best server. She’s our best defender. She’s one of our best passers in serve-receive. She is our best setter and she’s is one of the top three swings on our team. So when you are that good at everything, it’s really hard to take her off the floor.”

Yet the coach was not even certain she’d be able to sign the Juarez player.

Forchtner watched Rivera-Herrera play on El Paso club teams as a high-school freshman, sophomore and junior, and was convinced Rivera-Herrera would be grabbed up by a four-year institution. But Rivera-Herrera didn’t play her senior year, and didn’t take the needed tests to get into an NCAA school.

“We got lucky being able to get a kid like that that nobody was able to get at the Division I level, which is where she obviously belongs.”

And even as a college freshman, Rivera-Herrera brought intangibles to the team.

“She brings a dynamic to our team that is kind of effortless,” Forchtner said. “She’s smooth and very controlled in all her movements, and also very calm under pressure. It doesn’t matter what the score is, she’s going to figure out a way to win in the end.”

Replying by text since she had already completed her semester final exams and was travelling back home for the holiday break, Rivera-Herrera said he was “extremely happy” to receive the honor.

“This award is huge to me, coming from Mexico. Receiving this award in the United States is fantastic,” she said.

She credited the Institute with giving her the chance to attend college, and vowed to continue the effort next season.

“I will continue to work hard and train to prepare myself to be a better player and I know all of this is possible by the amount of support that I have received from NMMI,” she said.

And Forchtner said Rivera-Herrera will definitely get a chance to play at a higher level when she leaves the Institute after next season.

“She’s just a phenomenal kid and does some really good things for us.”

After the holiday break, the Bronco off-season begins, with cadets reporting back Jan. 4. Coach Forchtner and Ibarra will be working hard getting them ready for next season, along with hitting the recruiting trail to sign up new talent to fill in the holes left by graduating sophomores.

With some luck and a whole lot of hard work, we’ll likely see NMMI back at the NJCAA National Championships for the third-straight year in a row.