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
    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge to Air on ESPNU Aug. 1

      Thursday, July 30, 2015 -

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more

    • Football Signees Report for Summer Classes

      Friday, May 29, 2015 - Football

      Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more