Jazzy Espinoza’s Cheyenne homecoming with LCCC Volleyball creates special team connections

East High School has two prominent alums making a name for themselves in the Capital City
Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 9:57 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Jasmine, or Jazzy as most people call her, Espinoza is a familiar face around Cheyenne, not just as Assistant Coach for Laramie County Community College Volleyball but as a former star at East High School and then here at LCCC, from there she had a successful career at CSU-Pueblo.

Now, she’s back in her hometown.

“I never imagined myself coming back and coaching,” Espinoza said. “I was thinking about coming back to Cheyenne no matter what, but the fact that I get to come back and do something that I love and be associated with a school that I was associated with feels really good”

Golden Eagle Volleyball fans feels some déjà vu when they watch this team. Freshman Middle Blocker, Elysiana Fonseca, is another Jazzy. She played at East, plays the same position, and is now coached by her predecessor at LCCC.

“I love being coached by Jazzy,” Freshman Middle Blocker, Elysiana Fonseca, said. “Ever since I was little I’ve always looked up to Jazzy. Even in Junior High watching her at East, I’ve always looked up to her. It’s nice to have her as my coach.”

That type of relationship extends to the rest of the team. Jazzy told me that her proximity to their age and similar background helps her be the best coach she can be to this group of young women.

“I can connect with them in a way that Coach Shaver can’t really do. I’m a girl and I’m a young girl too, so I can understand how they feel in different things. It’s a really big advantage and a way for me to connect and build a strong relationship and connection with them,” Espinoza said.

“It’s easier just to talk to each other. We can figure out what we need to work on easier because she can just communicate with us on a more on our level kind of way,” Fonseca said.

“Early in the season, I think it was even in the summer, when we had a couple players in for open gym I asked her to jump in and hit a ball or two,” Head Coach, Zach Shaver, said. “When she did, everybody’s eyes got really big and were like ‘woah she’s just not a former player, she can still bang the ball and put up a big block.’ That, I think, earned their respect right away. Then hearing what she accomplished as a player here and at CSU Pueblo, that just automatically gained the player’s respect.”

With that respect and a connection most coaches across the country would be jealous of, Jazzy is using it to prop up the next generation of strong women in sports, right here in Cheyenne.

“They are very strong hard-working ladies and I think that’s something really powerful for this town, having women come into power in a sport,” Espinoza said. “They show that in the weight room, they lift a lot of weights, they practice hard, they do it every day. I think in that way, that’s a representation of Cheyenne.”

“I think she has the tools to go on to be a successful head coach and I hope that she wants to pursue that down the road and that I can help her get to that next stage in her career,” Coach Shaver, said.

Golden Eagles Volleyball is in the midst of one of their best seasons in team history sitting at 17-4.

LCCC has also started conference play 2-0, you can catch their games at the Storey Gym through October.