Pine Bluff’s Hyleigh Fornstrom becomes Binny Canales’ first recruit to attend Western Nebraska Community College next year.
Fornstrom, the Hornet’s 6-0 setter/middle hitter, comes from a volleyball-rich Pine Bluffs program that went 28-5 and finished the season going 1-2 at the Wyoming State tournament over the weekend.
Fornstrom said signing with WNCC was the right choice.
“Signing with WNCC to me means that I can rise to the next level and that all of my hard work has paid off,” she said. “I chose WNCC because of the girls, coaches, and the environment at the college. It felt a lot like home and I felt welcomed as soon as I got there.”
The decision was pretty easy, too, considering that Pine Bluffs has been attending a summer volleyball league and that was where Fornstrom caught Canales’ eye.
“For the past couple of summers, our team attended the league night in Scottsbluff and that’s where Coach Binny first reached out to me,” she said. “Towards the end of the league, he asked me and a few of my teammates to attend a camp in Scottsbluff. From there we stayed in contact.”
Fornstrom brings plenty of volleyball skill to the Cougar program. Fornstrom tallied 189 kills from her middle hitter position this past fall. She had 22 aces, 44 solo blocks, and 368 digs. She finished her career with 288 kills, 558 digs, 34 aces, 440 set assists, and 91 solo blocks.
Fornstrom will be the second in her family to attend WNCC. Her cousin, Brittany, attended WNCC in 2003 and 2004, helping the Cougars to the national tournament twice during that time.
“Brittany Fornstrom is a cousin on my father’s side of the family,” she said. “I was encouraged to talk to her when I received the offer from WNCC.”
The decision to play volleyball wasn’t that easy since Fornstrom is a 3-sport athlete at Pine Bluffs, also participating in basketball and track. She did take some visits for basketball, but volleyball was what stood out in the end.
“I did look at colleges for basketball, but the visits just weren’t the same,” she said. “The sport didn’t feel like a good fit for me.”
Her goal at WNCC is to get better and help lead the Cougars back to the national tournament.
“My goals at WNCC next year are to hopefully start on the team or at least contribute and make it to the national tournament.”
Fornstrom is planning on majoring in general business management.