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
    • Prewitt, Golson Among Standouts at Pro Day

      Thursday, March 5, 2015 - Football

      The Manning Center played host to 16 former Ole Miss players, including NFL Scouting Combine participants Cody Prewitt and Senquez Golson, attempting to make a lasting impact on the 27 NFL teams represented at Pro Day on Thursday. Prewitt, a... read more

    • Golson, Prewitt Headline Pro Day Participants

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Football

      NFL Scouting Combine participants Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt are among 18 former Ole Miss players expected to go through Pro Day workouts in hopes of realizing their professional football dreams. More than 25 representatives from 22 different teams were... read more

    • Both Sides of Ole Miss and the NCAA Tournament Discussion

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      The Ole Miss women's basketball team heads to the 2015 SEC Tournament in Little Rock, Arkansas, having won three of its last four games to finish the regular season with a 17-12 overall and 7-9 SEC record and earn the... read more

    • Johnson Embraces New Role, New Challenges

      Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss welcomes back seven starters from the nation's No. 1 scoring defense, but two of those starters, seniors C.J. Johnson and Mike Hilton, will be starting the spring at different positions, with Johnson at Mike linebacker and Hilton at... read more

    • Quarterback Competition Begins in Earnest

      Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss began spring practice Tuesday, and for the first time under head coach Hugh Freeze, the Rebels will have a starting quarterback not named Bo Wallace. With the graduation of Wallace, sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade, as well... read more

    • Freeze, Rebels at SEC Media Days on July 16

      Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - Football

      The Southeastern Conference announced today Kickoff '15, its annual football media days, will be held July 13-16, remaining at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. The event will continue to be four days in 2015. The... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Feb. 24-March 2, 2015)

      Monday, March 2, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 24-March 2, 2015Track & Field - Ole Miss got SEC titles from Jalen Miller (60m), Daniel Bulmer (mile) and the distance medley relay, and the Rebels achieved their best SEC indoor finish since 1984.... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- March 1

      Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Athletics

      The calendar turned to March, as the men's and women's basketball teams march toward the SEC Tournament and postseason play. The baseball team faced perhaps its biggest challenge of nonconference play. The softball and men's tennis teams each had another... read more

    • Rebels Look to Add to NCAA Tournament Case

      Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      The numbers and bracket projections may not be in his favor at this point, but head women's basketball coach Matt Insell is selling the NCAA Tournament selection committee on his team passing the eye test, as Ole Miss enters its... read more

    • Kennedy, Rebels Look to Flush LSU Loss

      Saturday, February 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      BATON ROUGE, La. -- With an opportunity to perhaps lock itself into the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least enhance its resume, Ole Miss lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling on the road at LSU... read more

    • Rebels Look to Enhance NCAA Tournament Resume

      Saturday, February 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Despite the most recent home loss to Georgia on Wednesday night, Ole Miss remains a team projected to be solidly in the field, as the Rebels put their school record four-game SEC road winning streak on the line when they... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Snow Day 2015

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more

    • VIDEO: The Flagship Football Promo

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • Rebels Ready for Rematch with Georgia

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more

    • VIDEO: The Pavilion Time Lapse

      Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      read more