HESSTON — Kristen Rhodes of Kansas City, Kan., was named the volleyball coach at Hesston College effective Aug. 10.
Rhodes is a 2001 Hesston grad. She played basketball as a freshman at Hesston and volleyball as a sophomore. She finished playing volleyball two years at Goshen College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Goshen.
She has served as a child and adolescent case manager and independent living youth specialist at the Madison Center for Children in South Bend, Ind. She worked as a special education para-educator in the Turner Unified School District in Kansas City for a year. She also worked as the district’s homeless liason.
She coached volleyball and basketball at various levels in the past four years.
“I have a passion to coach at the college level,” Rhodes said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, and especially at Hesston. I look forward to helping the girls have the Hesston experience that I had. My years of college athletics, especially my year playing volleyball at Hesston, were my best athletic experiences.
“One of my most important goals is to make the girls better athletes and better people. The things that you learn about yourself as an athlete are incredible — time management and social skills as well as attitude management — learning to control yourself spiritually, physically, mentally. I want to make sure that I address the personal aspects of being an athlete. I also hope to continue and build on the success of the program that coach Vanessa Schroeder built.”
Rhodes succeeds Schroeder, who was 224-196-1 in 11 years.
“I’m very pleased that Kristin has chosen to lead our volleyball program,” HC athletic director Art Mullet said. “She brings a variety of skills and experiences that will serve her well in this position. Vanessa has developed a very competitive program here over the years, and I believe Kristin will continue that tradition.”

Wingnuts drop
Pensacola Pelicans

WICHITA — A five-run first inning for the Wichita Wingnuts led to a 12-4 win over the Pensacola Pelicans Wednesday afternoon in American Association play at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Patrick Brooks and Michael Sharp each drove in two runs for the Wingnuts in the first inning. Kelly Hunt hit a three-run shot in the second inning.
Josh Horn finished the game four for six hitting for Wichita. Nick Blasi was three for six with an RBI. Greg Porter finished two for five with a home run and four RBIs. Michael Thompson went three for five. Brooks finished two for four. Dustan Mohr went two for three.
Lester Contreras went two for four for Penascola.
Derek Blacksher went seven innings for Wichita, allowing three hits with no runs, a walk and five strikeouts. Blacksher improved to 7-2. Jason Navarro, 1-1, took the loss for Pensacola.
Wichita takes a travel day today and opens a road stand Friday at Sioux Falls.
WINGUTS SIGN ESU PLAYER — The Wichita Wingnuts signed Emporia State right-handed pitcher Diego Soto Tuesday. Soto had 12 saves with the Hornets this season, striking out 48 batters in 42 1-3 innings. Emporia State reached the NCAA Division II championship game this spring. Soto also played two years at Cochise (Ariz.) Community College. He is the third ESU grad on the Wingnuts roster. The Wingnuts released Julio Torres.
Pensacola    000    000    040    —4    5    0
Wichita    531    010    20x    —12    20    2
Navarro (L, 1-1), Wilson 3, Wedner 6, Roque 8 and Palmisano, Delco 7; Blacksher (W, 7-2), Rhoden 8, D’Alessandro 9 and Sharp. HR — W: Porter (13), Hunt (14). Time — 3:10. Attedance — 2,003.