Junior Trio Help Raise Soccer Program's Profile

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Junior Jessica Hiskey is one of three captains along with fellow juniors Samantha Sanders and Jennifer Miller

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Junior Jessica Hiskey is one of three captains along with fellow juniors Samantha Sanders and Jennifer Miller
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Aug. 21, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- Every team has its leaders, and for the Ole Miss soccer team three rose above the rest, having been voted tri-captains by their teammates.

A trio of juniors in Samantha Sanders, Jessica Hiskey and Jennifer Miller have proven to be vital pieces in the building of the Ole Miss soccer program. As the team moves into the 2014 season, the trio will look to take the program to another level.

"Sam Sanders was a captain last year for us and did a great job," head coach Matt Mott said. "She's a very good leader, very strong personality and understands what we want to do and how we want to play. When the team voted, they voted those three almost unanimously for captain.

"Jess brings a level of confidence. She's a very good player and does everything right and works really hard. You can say almost the same about Jenn. They're both really hard workers and leaders by example. They understand it. They're committed. They do everything right."

One season ago, Sanders served as a tri-captain along with now-graduated seniors Erin Emerson and Mandy McCalla. She started the first 36 games of her collegiate career on the Rebels' back line before tearing her ACL in early October, ending her sophomore season.

She has returned from injury and was voted a tri-captain by her teammates for the second straight season, along with Hiskey, a two-year starter on the back line who moves to the midfield, and Miller, a two-year starter in the midfield.

On a veteran-laden team with nine upperclassmen, coaches and players agreed those three separated themselves with their leadership and approachability, on and off the field.

"What separated Jess and Jenn was their ability, on the field, to make plays and step up the intensity on the field," Sanders said. "When things are not going well, they bring up the energy. Off the field, players follow them and look to them for advice and strength."

With three captains, they're able to get different points of views and the best way to go about things. Overall, they agreed it's been easy to lead because of the effort and energy the team has put into preseason work. 

"We all three have different strengths in our leadership ability, so it's nice to have a mixture of all three of those when you have 24 players who respond differently to different kinds of leadership," Sanders said.

Ole Miss made history this past season, not only setting a school record for wins, but also hosting an NCAA Tournament game for the first time and winning its second NCAA Tournament game in five trips to the annual event, and the trio played a significant part in that.

"They came in with the idea that they were going to raise the program to another level and to new heights, and they have absolutely helped us to do that," Mott said. "They understand what we want as a coaching staff and they understand what the players need and what it means to be a high-level student-athlete. They epitomize what it means to be a student-athlete."

But they want more.

"It's an honor to be a captain with all the talent and the strides we have made," Hiskey said. "We have a chance to make this team better and lead this team to an even better season."

The Rebels open the 2014 season with the first live, regular-season game on the SEC Network when they host Georgia on Friday at 6 p.m. CT. 

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller.

 
Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Rebels Ink Nation's Top JUCO Quarterback

      Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Football

      Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 8-14, 2014)

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more

    • Recapping Monday's Media Opportunities

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 14

      Sunday, December 14, 2014 - Athletics

      With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Volleyball Season Highlight

      Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight

      Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 1-7, 2014)

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more

    • Testing One, Two, Three

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Academics

      While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 7

      Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Athletics

      In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 13

      Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 13 - MSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Finding a Rhythm after Trip to Florida

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 -

      Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more

    • Bjork, Freeze Reach Agreement on New Contract

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Football

      Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (No. 24-30, 2014)

      Monday, December 1, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 30

      Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-Mississippi State

      Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Football

      AUDIO: Ole Miss-Mississippi State highlights from the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network VIDEO: Ole Miss-Mississippi State highlights from CBS Sports VIDEO: Ole Miss bounces back, wins Egg Bowl from ESPN VIDEO: Bo Wallace fights through injury for win from ESPN... read more