Gateway: Sports

Top storylines to watch for Gig Harbor, Peninsula fall sports

Gig Harbor’s Ashley Wright recaps 3A state title win

Gig Harbor High School edged Holy Names, 2-1, in the Class 3A girls state soccer championship on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
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Gig Harbor High School edged Holy Names, 2-1, in the Class 3A girls state soccer championship on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

With the high school fall sports season upon us, we’ve already taken a look at some of the top games on the schedule for the Gig Harbor and Peninsula football teams. Other sports like cross country, volleyball, girls swimming and girls soccer are also set to start soon. Here are some of the top storylines to watch this fall for some of the other sports for the Tides and Seahawks.

Can the Gig Harbor girls soccer team win back-to-back state titles?

What a season it was for the Tides last year. Gig Harbor won the Class 3A state title in a 2-1 win against Holy Names at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, capping off a 23-0 season. No losses and no ties for a whole season— that’ll be a tough standard to live up to. But even if Gig Harbor doesn’t make it through the entire 2019 season unscathed, on paper, the Tides have a realistic chance of repeating. A trio of goal scorers return in Washington State bound senior Alyssa Gray and super sophomores Lily Paulson and Ashley Wright, who scored the game-winning goal in the state championship game as a freshman.

What will Alyssa Gray’s senior season look like?

Speaking of Gray, The News Tribune’s 2018 all-area player of the year, it’ll be interesting to see if the WSU bound senior can somehow top her stellar junior campaign. Gray scored 36 goals and notched 10 assists, with 12 of those goals coming in postseason play. There was no player in the area more dominant than Gray, with her combination of relentless workrate, quick pace and precise finishing ability in front of the net. Assuming she stays healthy, 2019 figures to be another eye-popping season for the dominant forward.

Can Peninsula volleyball take the next step?

Led by league co-MVP Maeve Griffin and first-team 3A SSC selection Laney Lovrovich, the Seahawks were a force in a highly competitive league in 2018, advancing to the West Central III/Southwest bidistrict tournament and winning three postseason games. The good news for Peninsula? The Seahawks return Griffin, Lovrovich, along with second-team selections Josie Hampton and Tommi Galluci. For as good as Peninsula was last season, there were moments when Katrina Cardinal’s squad still showed it was in the process of learning and figuring things out. With everyone back this season, it’s a good chance for the Seahawks to take their game to the next level.

What’s life like in cross country without Bradley Peloquin?

Peloquin, The Peninsula Gateway’s 2018-19 athlete of the year from Gig Harbor High School, graduated and is now running at the University of Portland, leaving his mark as one of the most dominant distance runners in the school’s history, capping his career off by winning the 1,600 and 3,200 meter state titles at the Class 3A state meet in the spring. Those are some big shoes to fill and on paper, there’s no one on the team who figures to come close to some of Peloquin’s times this season. For the Gig Harbor boys, sophomore Kaiser Keck and senior Edward Gabriel will look to step up this season. For the Gig Harbor girls, sophomore Belle Johnson is already one of the area’s top distance runners, and junior Adeline Taylor is in the mix. For the Peninsula boys, senior Sean Walloch and Maxwell Burr are two of the team’s top returners, and for the Peninsula girls, seniors Gabrielle Jensen and Emma Davis are the top returners.

How will the swim teams look?

Gig Harbor should have another solid team, after finishing 14th at the Class 3A state meet last season. The Tides return Teghan Miller, Megan Hanson, Madeline Erickson, Paige Everling, Sarah Grady, Shaye DiMatteo, Gillian Miller and Katie Ward. The Peninsula girls team returns Emma Keith, one of the area’s best swimmers.