Kia Gibson came home and Lakeside volleyball is glad she did.
The 5-foot-11 middle blocker was part of a summer basketball buzz as one of two Greater Spokane League transfers into the Great Northern League.
She was on the roster of the Gonzaga Prep volleyball team until late August, a welcome addition to a team that had graduated its size.
“It would have leveled us out a little,” Bullpups coach Lisa Phillips said at the time. “She thought she wanted to be here, but at the end wanted to be back.”
Both Phillips and Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) coach Kara Moffatt said the to-and-fro moves revolved around family issues.
“It’s great for us, but it kind of threw my team in a turmoil,” Moffatt said.
Gibson, a junior, had started for the Eagles a year ago. Now Moffatt had to deal with issues that arise among players, some who feel betrayed, another chastened.
“She started on the junior varsity team and had to work her way back into the lineup,” said Moffatt. “As they worked through it, the players have been the ones coming to me and telling me I’ve been too hard on her.”
Gibson saw varsity time in Lakeside’s league season-opening win Tuesday over Deer Park.
“She’ll be a big impact on the team,” said Moffatt.
Judging from season openers, last year’s co-champions Pullman and Colville, the Eagles and Chewelah will again chase the GNL’s two state berths.
Pullman’s Greyhounds, seventh in the State 2A tournament last year, beat Lakeside for the championship of a tournament in Yakima last weekend.
Both teams return four starters. Pullman coach Jennifer Greeny said her team’s hitting will be better than average. Moffatt, with 10 squad members back, said she could put their names in a hat, draw out a different starting lineup and be fine.
Colville, eighth at state last year, must replace a couple of all-league standouts in order to repeat.
Northeast A: Look for Colfax to once more be the class of the league. The defending state champions return four starters and eight letter winners. Coach Sue Doering, who underwent treatment for cancer last year said, “I’m feeling great and ready to go. … Many of these girls are younger siblings of successful players. We are looking again to finish well in league and be in the top four again at state.”
Coach Kenny Davis of Freeman, which placed seventh last year, said he told this team that it has the potential to be special.
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