Cordes raises the bar for third season |

Cordes raises the bar for third season

Thomas Ranson
Cady Cordes throws up a serve during a match for Western Connecticut State University this season.
Western Connecticut State University | LVN

After making a difficult decision to leave the Silver State, Cady Cordes is starting to fit in nicely after her second season of playing collegiate volleyball on the East Coast.

Cordes and the Western Connecticut State University volleyball team made a noticeable improvement this season to win the Little East Conference Tournament and defeat five-time champion University of Massachusetts-Boston in the process.

“I was more comfortable playing with my teammates. I felt like the competitive level was increased by our game schedule,” said Cordes, whose team lost to UMass-Boston in the semifinals of last year’s conference tournament.

Not only did the Colonials make a big improvement but so did Cordes.

The ex-Greenwave star was more consistent and had better focus, according to her coach, Donald Ferguson.

“Her hitting became more of a factor in our matches this season and she was looked upon, many times, to bail us out when we were stuck in a rotation,” he said. “Although she primarily plays the right side position for us, she was asked to score from multiple areas, and did so successfully.”

Cordes played in 31 matches and registered 157 kills in 107 sets, while contributing 30 service aces, 256 digs and 31 total blocks including 12 solos. The Colonials finished the year with a 25-11 mark, including 4-3 in the conference and a 14-2 record at home. The Division III school knocked off Eastern Connecticut State to win the conference tournament before being swept by Roger Williams in the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Ferguson also noticed Cordes understood the game’s speed better and adjusted to different tempos. But her communication stood out, which is expected from second-year players.

“Her communication improved greatly, with her team and myself,” Ferguson added. “This is common in the second year, but I thought Cady did an excellent job making sure that happened.”

Cordes, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, said the season had many highlights, including the conference tournament title as well as starting off the season with a big, 10-match winning streak. But she can’t wait for her junior season on the court.

“I hope that we continue to have success like this year and be able to work more cohesively toward this goal,” Cordes said.

In the next two years, Ferguson hopes to see Cordes become a stronger hitter as well as be faster on the court.

He sees her becoming one of the best players in the conference.

“I’m really looking for Cady to get stronger and faster physically, and apply that to her skill set,” Ferguson said.

“I believe if she does that, she will be an elite player in this conference. She and her classmates will be the elders next season, as we won’t have any seniors. Her leadership, both on and off the court, will be a big factor for the next two years.”

Off the court, Cordes has been extremely successful.

She said she was admitted to the nursing program and just completed her first semester, with five more to go.

Cordes is maintaining a near-perfect grade-point average, coming in at a 3.89 cumulative.

Cordes’ efforts have impressed Ferguson.

“I am a big believer in student-athlete. Her passion for academics was a big reason Cady was a part of my first recruiting class here at Western,” Ferguson added. “Cady has been exceptional at this and is perhaps taking the most difficult courses as a nursing student. The amount of work Cady puts into her studies is second to none and this helps drive other teammates as well.”

In the meantime, Cordes has enjoyed her time on the East Coast, exploring the area and enjoying the sights.

She said she keeps in touch with her family constantly, especially during the season and after games.

“I have enjoyed my time,” she said. “I have had chances to explore New England. Right now, I hope that I stay on my college path and graduate on time.”