SOUTH SOUND VOLLEYBALL PRIMER
TEAM TO BEAT
Whoever wins the 4A SPSL volleyball tournament, that’s the team to beat. Curtis beat Emerald Ridge for the 4A SPSL title, then again for the 4A state title last season. The Vikings graduated All-Area player of the year Elly McEachern, but coach Michael Miller likes what he’s seen from many of his younger players, including freshman Kayla Skipworth.
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1. SEC OF VOLLEYBALL
The past five 4A state champions – Curtis, Bellarmine, Bellarmine, Bellarmine and Olympia. Emerald Ridge has finished second or third three straight years. Now all of them will share the 4A SPSL.
2. MOVING UP
Calley Heilborn and Auburn Riverside won their third consecutive league title last year, edging Auburn Mountainview, and then placed third in state a year after winning the 3A state title. Expect both to still be the crop of their league, even if they’re now in 4A NPSL Olympic instead of the 3A SPSL.
3. TERRORING TUMWATER
Tumwater beat both Curtis and Emerald Ridge last year, but lost to Burlington-Edison in the 2A state tournament. It returns almost all its pieces from last year, including Gonzaga commit Kennedy Croft.
4A NSPL Cascade – Tahoma
4A NPSL Olympic – Auburn Mountainview
4A SPSL – Curtis
3A Pierce County – Lincoln
3A South Sound – Timberline
2A SPSL Mountain – White River
2A SPSL Sound – Steilacoom
2A Evergreen – Tumwater
1A Nisqually – Charles Wright
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Reigning 2A EvCo MVP committed to Gonzaga this summer. Had 31 kills in one match.
How good was Jackson as a freshman? Had 414 kills and led Tarriers to sixth place in state.
Coach says the 6-foot-2 Boise State commit will be stronger and jumping even higher this year.
At 5-foot-11, New Mexico State commit led the Blazers last season with 198 kills, 148 digs.
Returning All-Area selection selected as team captain for defending champs.
BEST OF THE REST
4A NPSL – S Malia Aleaga, Kennedy Catholic, jr.; L Aleina Gabriel, Kentwood, sr.; S Casey Davenport, Auburn Mountainview, sr.; S Eugena Faamausili, Kent-Meridian, jr.; OH Calley Heilborn, Auburn Riverside, jr.; MB Ginny Mehl, Tahoma, sr.
4A SPSL – S Jadyn Mullen, Emerald Ridge, jr.; S Haley Morton, Curtis, jr.; S Hannah Pukis, Bellarmine Prep, jr.; OH Kaitlin Sugai, Puyallup, jr.; OH Lauren Wilson, Olympia, sr.
3A PCL – OH Alex Bunch, Wilson, sr.; MB Zyonna Fellows, Mount Tahoma, jr.; MB Carly Gibbon, Bonney Lake, jr.; L Leea Jones, Lincoln, sr.; MB Cassie Smith, Bethel, sr.
3A SSC – S Katie Downey, Central Kitsap, sr.; MB Hali Ehresmann, Capital, sr.; MB Olivia Fairchild, North Thurston, sr.; MB Paige Johnson, Shelton, sr.; OH Hannah Yerex, Gig Harbor, jr.
2A SPSL – MB Kendall Bird, White River, sr.; L Megan Vandegrift, White River, jr.; OH Sophia Spoja, Steilacoom, soph.; MB Angela Stanback, Foss, sr.; OH Annika Linden, Fife, jr.
2A EvCo – OH Emma Duff, Black Hills, sr.; OH Brooke Hare, Tumwater, sr.; L Cristina Hegarty, Tumwater, sr.; S Maddy Pilon, Tumwater, sr.; OH Kary Sathre, Centralia, sr.
Others – MB Maddie Boles, Life Christian, soph.; OH Annika Cederstrand, Annie Wright, sr.; OH Alli Knowles, Charles Wright, sr.; OH Katelyn Schwartz, Evergreen Lutheran, sr.; OH Isabella Thomas, Tacoma Baptist, jr.