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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

North Star League Volleyball Preview

The Spokesman-Review

Road to state: The district champ and runner-up advance to state.

In predicted order of finish:

Kootenai Warriors

2003 records: 20-6 overall, 9-1

Coach: Mandy Love

Years coaching: 2nd

Starters, lettermen returning: 1, 6

Key players: Darcy Collins, junior, 5-8, outside hitter; Nikita Amy, jr., 5-8, middle hitter; Hannah Nyrop, freshman, 5-10, outside hitter; Kendra Wilms, sophomore, 5-10, mh; Cassie Scheffelmaier, soph., 5-6, setter.

Coach’s comments: “I like our athletic ability. It’s way better than last year. But we’ve got some things to accomplish and I don’t know if we’re going to get those things accomplished.”

Outlook: The Warriors weren’t happy with their one-day-and-out effort at state last year. Kootenai will tangle with Wallace for the league and district titles.

Wallace Miners

2003 record: 18-8

Coach: Corki Matilla

Years coaching: 2nd

Starters, lettermen returning: 5, 6

Key players: Ashlee Maravilla, sr., 5-9, oh; Maria Cloof, sr., 5-5, defensive specialist; Torrie Heinig, sr., 5-3, ds; Shala Wild, jr., 5-9, rightside hitter; Staci Hinsz, jr., 5-8, mh.

Coach’s comments: “We’re having a lot of fun, yet they’re willing to work hard. It’s a competitive bunch.”

Outlook: Wallace is new to the league, but it will play like it has dominated the league for some time. The Miners will stage an interesting battle with Kootenai for the league’s two state berths.

Lakeside Knights

2003 records: 6-18, 4-6

Coach: Brad Veille

Years coaching: 14th

Starters, lettermen returning: 6, 6

Key players: Corrina Hendrickx, sr., 5-1, oh; Wynonna Johnson, jr., 5-5, s/oh; Kara Howard, jr., 5-3, s/oh; Vicki Sifford, soph., 5-2, oh.

Coach’s comments: “With all of our kids back, we’re starting ahead of where we finished last year.”

Outlook: The team’s experience won’t be enough for the Knights to challenge Kootenai and Wallace. Lakeside lacks the size and polish to contend for a higher finish.

Mullan Tigers

2003 records: 7-10, 6-4

Coach: Dawn McKinnon

Years coaching: 9th

Starters, lettermen returning: 4, 5

Key players: Anali Carrico, sr., 5-8, mh; Jackie Smith, sr., 5-6, oh; Fawn Story, fr., 6-0, mh.

Coach’s comments: “We need to play smart and let the other teams make mistakes.”

Outlook: Carrico is one of the top athletes in the league, but the Tigers don’t have enough weapons to challenge for a state berth.

Clark Fork Wampus Cats

2003 records: 21-12, 9-1

Coach: Katie Hess

Years coaching: 2nd

Starters, lettermen returning: 3, 4

Key players: Jolene Meredith, jr., 5-5, mh; Michelle Haase, sr., 5-3, s; Jennifer Gauthier, sr., 5-5, oh; Tiffany Van Buren, jr., 5-5, rh.

Coach’s comments: “We’re not very tall and that’s where we’ll struggle. We’ll have to be able to pass to make up for it.”

Outlook: The Wampus Cats’ tallest players are 5-5. A mid-division finish is a realistic goal.

Coeur d’Alene Charter Panthers

2003 records: 1-14, 0-10

Coach: Katie Ogle

Years coaching: 2nd

Starters, lettermen returning: 5, 7

Key players: Janie Helgeson, jr., 5-9, mh; Kalyn Lovelyn, soph., 5-6, oh; Stefani Enfield, sr., 5-2, ds; Julie Bennett, soph., 5-9, mh.

Coach’s comments: “They’re doing better than where they left off last year. Things are going well.”

Outlook: The Panthers will win more than one match this season. But there’s still a sizeable gap between them and the upper division.

Post Falls Christian Eagles

2003 records: 7-12, 2-8

Coach: April Stavish

Years coaching: 1st

Starters, lettermen returning: 4, 5

Key players: Renae Hoye, sr., 5-4, s; Katie Hoye, soph., 5-6, m; Sophie Salamina, sr., 5-4, oh; Heidi Shaw, jr., 5-8, mh.

Coach’s comments: “I love their dedication. They’re putting a lot of effort into being a team.”

Outlook: The Eagles could finish a rung or two higher. But it’s going to take quite a bit of work.