SOUTH BEND - South Bend opens the season Thursday with a home match versus Wahkiakum - a match that should provide good competition and excitement. Willapa Valley hosts rival Pe Ell tomorrow. Raymond's season opener is Monday against Willapa Valley at Tenoski Gym in Menlo.
All three schools compete(d) at jamborees yesterday and today. The Lady Indians and Lady Seagulls were at Hoquiam Tuesday and the Montesano JV today, while the Vikings went to Adna yesterday, also for an exhibition.
South Bend Head Volleyball Coach Jackie Sanchez enters her 19th year at SBHS. South Bend returns three letter winners from a season ago. The Lady Indians won't have a lot of experience but Sanchez's teams are always competitive.
Sanchez listed Raymond and Life Christian Academy as the Pacific League favorites.
Team leaders for SBHS are expected to be senior outside-hitter Alison Funkhouser, outside-hitter/middle-blocker Paola Razo and Paige Johnson, a senior setter/outside-hitter.
"It will be exciting to watch these girls get better each week," Coach Sanchez said.
South Bend's assistant coaches are Julie Jewell and Theresa Mott.
Vikings Host Pe Ell Thursday Lori Snodgrass is in her fifth year as head coach at Willapa Valley. Karisa Makaiwi is in her third year as Valley's assistant coach.
"We are going to have some defensive speed and we are becoming accurate servers," Coach Snodgrass told the Herald of her young squad. "We should be competitive each night and are looking to still be playing in November."
Senior middle-hitter Brooke Spoor, junior outside-hitter Madison Huber and sophomore setter Sidney Pollard are Valley's most experienced players. Rounding out the roster are seniors Itzia Ruelas and Alicia Smaciarz, junior Abby Hodel, sophomores Sofiya Cron and Amber Anderson, and freshmen Hannah Cook,
Brooke Friese and Grace Hodel.
Snodgrass said that the league favorite is Raymond.
Lady Gulls Open Monday Bob Swogger enters his fifth season as head volleyball coach at RHS. Raymond has a new junior varsity head coach in veteran Cindy Collins, who coached at South Bend in the 90's, and was the varsity coach at Raymond in the early 2000's.
"Everyone has showed a high level of commitment, selflessness, and a sense of family during practice, summer camp, and workouts," Coach Swogger told the Herald. "Our expectations are high since we missed out on the state tournament by only two points last year." Swogger and the Lady Seagulls have made it a goal to qualify for the Class 2B state volleyball tournament.
Team captains expected to provide leadership are Mikayla Collins, Hallie Smith and Cydney Flemetis. The Lady Gulls have 22 players on the varsity/JV roster.
Coach Swogger said the Pacific League team to beat is Life Christian Academy - the only team to make it to State last year from the league.