HAZELTON – Kynsee Mussmann and Tannah Sellers had options.
The Valley High School standouts signed to play volleyball on Tuesday—Mussmann with Utah State University Eastern, and Sellers with Sheridan College in Wyoming—but their storied high school athletic careers in Hazelton spanned well beyond the volleyball court.
Mussmann was also a Swiss army knife for a Vikings basketball team that took home two straight 1A-DI consolation championships at the state tournament. She combined the exceptional size and timing that make her a college-level volleyball hitter with size, quickness and shooting prowess. She was named second-team all-Snake River conference as a senior.
Sellers was the steady point guard who rarely made the wrong decision for the Vikings, and was named first-team all-conference as a senior.
In track and field, Sellers was the state champion in discus last year, and Mussmann finished sixth in the 200-meter dash.
But for the senior duo, volleyball always reigned supreme.
“I had a few coaches talk to me for basketball, but volleyball was always my first choice,” said Mussmann.
“Playing other sports helped me with speed, and being able to get to any and every ball that I can,” added Sellers. “Basketball has helped me with the mental part. You have to be mentally strong to play basketball. And track has helped me in the physical aspect.”
The two Vikings have different personalities; Valley volleyball head coach Katie Clark says Sellers is more gregarious and typically leads in a vocal manner, while Mussmann tends to be more reserved and lead by example. They began playing AAU basketball together in fourth grade, but discovered a love for volleyball in the years that followed.
For Mussmann, it began when she realized she was one of the few players who could rifle an overhand serve in her first years of organized volleyball. For Sellers, the volleyball fire was ignited when she switched to her current position of libero.
“When I was little, I wanted to play basketball, but once I got into volleyball and played more, I realized it was my home,” said Sellers. “When I got my first opportunity to play libero, I realized that I could excel and that position could take me places.”
Sellers and Mussmann climbed the ladder of success during four years on Valley’s varsity volleyball squad: Their freshman year, the team finished third in the conference. Their sophomore and junior years, they made the state tournament, but were knocked out on the first day. Last fall, the Vikings went undefeated until the state tournament, and brought home a third-place trophy at the 1A-DI state…