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Roaring Grizzlies: Bear Creek volleyball will feature explosive offense
Just one year after the Bear Creek School volleyball team brought home an 8th-place trophy from their first-ever state tournament experience, the Grizzlies are ready and raring to make a return trip to Yakima.
And given that nearly everyone on the team returns from 2009, that trip to the Sun Dome may soon become a reality.
"We're looking good," said head coach Sherrie Brown. "There is some firepower out there, and that's always fun."
That "firepower" comes in the form of a talented group of hitters that will look to spike the competition, led by team captain Domonique DuBois, a first-team all-league selection last year. Fellow senior Maddie Easley, and juniors Elizabeth Fernandez, Bethan Meyer and Nikki Peterson will all contribute to the Grizzlies' superb offense, as well sophomore Makena Schoene, who stands at 6-foot-2 and should develop into a prime hitting and blocking threat at the net.
In volleyball, however, a volatile offense isn't much good if the team can't put the ball in position, but the Grizzlies have the answer in another first-team selection, sophomore setter Michele Brown, who will look to have a repeat of her stellar 2009 season.
Bear Creek also addressed a defensive weakness by bringing in a pair of new varsity players, sophomore Morgan Cadigan and junior Kristin Wallis, who are training for the libero (defensive specialist) position.
"They worked at camp and they're coming along really well," commented Brown on her two newcomers. "Our primary strength this year will be our hitting, and we're working on our passing and defense."
Brown admitted that she didn't know much about the Sea-Tac 2B League this year, but maintained that the Grizzlies should fine if they can take it one game at a time, and avoid the illness problems that has plagued the team in years past.
"They always seem to put good teams on the court, so we just have to take care of ourselves," she said. "We need to stay healthy, and continue to improve. But we went through the whole swine flu last year, my kids were sick nonstop. If we can not get that cycle this year, it will really help us."
And once the players got a taste of the state-tournament atmosphere last November, they set their sights on punching a return ticket.
"I think we're improving, and we're going to be ready for state this time, to go back again," DuBois said.
Added Easley, "After placing eighth last year, our goal is to do better. We're aiming for first."
After another long day of practice at the Bear Creek gym to get her girls primed for another run at state glory, Brown made sure to credit her team for the work ethic they display on the court, making her job just that much easier.
"They're just great kids," marveled Brown, in her seventh year coaching at Bear Creek. "They come out to improve every day, and they're highly motivated to be the best they can be."