NMMI Sports Press
A fourth player from the national championship-competitor Bronco volleyball team has signed to play for a four-year school.
Cherish Sosi will set for Cumberland University, an NAIA school in Lebanon, Tenn.
“I picked the school because they have a very good pre-med program, and it’s on the east coast, sort of, so that allows me to travel more around the United States,” she said, noting the environment was a key factor as well. “It’s small, just like NMMI, and I just got so accustomed to how we do things here that the change over there won’t be as bad.”
The Mid-South Conference Phoenix are coached by Kathy Slaughter, who led her team to a 19-13, 5-8 record in 2016, ending the season in the quarterfinals of the conference championships.
Sosi, who hopes to study nursing, almost didn’t even make the NMMI squad. The West Jordan High School grad — she was a teammate with Bronco Maluhia Taula at the Utah school — was a setter, and Bronco coach Shelby Forchtner had already signed a setter. Sosi was offered a walk-on position, but didn’t want that.
Then, three days after arriving, the scholarship athlete left, and Sosi got the call.
“We asked Cherish if she wanted the scholarship and she took it,” Forchtner said. “She really needed work in terms of being a collegiate setter, but she was on the floor as a freshman. She was on the floor as a sophomore. She worked really, really, really hard in her offseason. Just in terms of strength and movement and set location and just kind of understanding our offense, so it was really good for us to get a kid in here who is a really good team player and who is energetic. People really like her and being around her, because she ran the floor well for two years. So it’s pretty exciting, when she really had hardly any options out of high school, to come here and then for her to be able to move on to the next level.”
Plus, she is a setter, which is Forchtner’s position, making the job that much harder.
“Setters have a tough road here just because that’s what I did,” the coach said. “I don’t think there’s ever been a setter who’s come through here who’s been, ‘Well, that was easy.’ We put a lot of responsibility on them. We consider them our quarterbacks. We really make them work way harder than the other people around them because of those things. So she has taken that job and that responsibility and me in stride, and most days still likes me. She’s just a great kid.”
That hard work paid off both in the trip to nationals in 2016 plus an All-Conference berth.
What was the biggest thing she learned from her coaches?
“Probably working on the basic fundamentals and techniques and getting those down and being able to implement them in every game,” Sosi said, while noting that hard work paid off elsewhere on campus as well.
“I think it helped with my work ethic and discipline, especially with volleyball and working out. Then the corps and respect and being able to manage my time better.”
While she won’t miss “waking up early,” she will miss her coaches and teammates, and Forchtner said the feeling is mutual.
“We’re losing someone who has been a huge part of our program for the last two years as an all conference setter And she’s just a really great person. She comes from a good family and everybody likes her. She’s the person who gets people hyped up before the game. She has a smile on her face when she’s playing; when I’m not yelling at her.”