Frontier League volleyball
Returning West Valley volleyball players have had a taste of success and they like it. Under new coach Jim Dorr, East Valley is hoping to find out what success is like.
The Eagles of Peggy Wells won league and were a state participant for the first time last year. EV hasn’t been to state since 1990.
They will be part of a wide-open Frontier League that is relatively short on experience and therefore long on question marks.
West Valley brings back four players from last year’s state participants, including unanimous all-leaguer Jolie Jensen. The Knights bring back three.
“After last year there is a lot of skepticism from people,” said Wells, about whether WV can duplicate the 1994 team’s success. “I don’t feel that way at all. These players can compete with anyone.”
Dorr traded places with Mike Smith, who coached six years but who wants to be able to watch his daughter play for University. He now has the freshmen.
A former Rogers High School quarterback, Dorr began playing volleyball in college and coached eight years at Soap Lake.
“I said I’d never do it again but the kids and my wife talked me into it,” said Dorr.
He figures he’ll coach at least five years until his children began playing sports and by then Smith will be ready to come back.
Eagles have big shoes to fill
Six seniors graduated from last year’s champions.
“We have six seniors again and I feel really good about them,” said Wells. “They have worked hard.”
Included are senior varsity veterans Jensen, Amy Gelhausen, Kate Waldron. Joining them is varsity veteran junior Darci Sohns.
Sohns may be asked to fill a role vacated by graduated league player of the year Andrea Schell.
“She’s improved three inches in her vertical jump,” said Wells.
Joining them are Arin Craig, Jan McIntyre and sophomore Chantelle Frost who saw some postseason varsity time.
“They were kind of overshadowed last year,” said Wells. “It’s their chance to shine.”
Also on the team are junior Amber McConnell and senior back-row players Emily Durr and Genia French.
“We have a good nucleus back and feel we can raise our expectations,” said Wells.
New EV players carry the torch
Except for the returning senior trio, the Knight lineup will be filled with newcomers.
“I think we should be a very good defensive club,” said Dorr. “Our two back row specialists are tremendous. Our outside hitters are to be defenders first and hitters second.”
Leading the way for the Knights are outside hitter Anjie Blindauer, middle blocker Angela Overdorff and back row specialist Kelli Haye.
“Anjie is very difficult to stop,” said Dorr. “Anytime she touches the ball it has been a kill.” They’ll be joined by four junior and three sophomores.
Included are setter Jennifer Tilton, outside hitter Lescia Meyers, middle blocker Nicole Griffith and back row player Vicki Welter.
Sophomores include middle blocker Christie Grochowski.
“She’s a very good player with the confidence of an upper classman,” said Dorr.
Other two are Deb Asbury and Jenny Kann.
“Luckily for us our sophomores can play,” said Dorr of the USVBA-experienced trio.