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Prep Preview Volleyball

Wed., Sept. 19, 2012

Greater Spokane

Judy Kight’s Mead Panthers, a perennial power, are the team to beat. With 11 seniors returning from last year’s team – including three from the all-GSL first team – the Panthers are focused on another league title, regional title and to improve on last year’s disappointing trophy-less finish at the state tournament. The league seems to be divided into three levels of competitiveness, with a lot of grey in the middle of the pack. Mead and Mt. Spokane – which made an appearance in last year’s State 3A tournament – meet on Thursday in what should be one of the best matches of the season. University has dealt with early injuries but will still be a strong competitor in the top four. Players to watch: Hannah Zalopany (Mead), Kennadie Clute (Mt. Spokane), Kayleigh Valley (U-Hi), Darby Santos (Shadle Park), Paige Montgomery (Mead), Jonni Dorr (Mead), Dana Norris (Mead), Bianna Nikdel (Gonzaga Prep) and Taylor Butters (Central Valley).

Inland Empire

5A: Post Falls, last year’s state runner-up, lost a lot of talent to graduation (including all-IEL first-teamers Ashley Jibby, Allison Meehan and Tori Bertch) and the losses have shown early for the young Trojans. League MVP Kylie Curtis returns for Lake City – a semifinalist at last year’s state tourney – and Kayla McGlathery, a first-team pick last season, returns for Coeur d’Alene. Lewiston has started strong, led by last year’s IEL newcomer of the year, setter Makayla Wilson, who is off to a strong start in her sophomore season for the undefeated Bengals. Lake City and Coeur d’Alene aren’t far behind, and it could go either way for the second- and third-place finish in the league.

4A: Sandpoint, coming off an appearance at the 4A state tournament last season, is ahead of the pack so far with wins over Moscow and Lakeland, led by returning first-team all-leaguer, junior Hannah Neumann. Reigning league Newcomer of the Year, junior Rachael Smith, returns for Moscow.

Great Northern

It’s already been interesting to see how the addition of Colville – defending State 1A champion – is affecting the competitive league. The Indians are undefeated, with showdowns against East Valley and Pullman quickly approaching. Players to watch include: West Valley senior outside hitter Sequoia Lofton and Pullman senior outside hitter Brittany Harvey, both returning All-GNL first-team picks; and senior OH Liz Gill (Cheney) and EV senior middle hitter Sam Geibel, returning second-team selections. Clarkston lost two strong outside hitters to graduation, and the young WV Eagles lost all-league setter Aaliyah Ashley-Meek, while Pullman lost all-league libero April Oviatt.

GSL predicted order of finish7. Gonzaga Prep
1. Mead4. University8. Rogers
2. Mt. Spokane5. Shadle Park9. North Central
3. Central Valley6. Lewis and Clark10. Ferris
IEL predicted order of finish4A: 1. Sandpoint
5A: 1. Lewiston3. Coeur d’Alene2. Lakeland
2. Lake City4. Post Falls3. Moscow
GNL predicted order of finish5. Clarkston
1. Colville3. East Valley6. West Valley
2. Pullman4. Cheney7. Deer Park


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