Bear Creek volleyball is shooting for state — again

Michele Brown can’t get enough of volleyball — it’s been a part of her life since she was 8 years old.

The Bear Creek School’s Makena Schoene slams away as Michele Brown watches at last Friday’s Sundome Volleyball Festival. The Grizzlies tied for third with Lynden Christian.

Michele Brown can’t get enough of volleyball — it’s been a part of her life since she was 8 years old.

Bear Creek School coach Sherrie Brown, Michele’s mom, said her 18-year-old daughter has nice hands at her setter position and that’s why she’s earned 2B Sea-Tac most valuable player honors twice.

Makena Schoene, who turns 18 today, feels at home with her Grizzly volleyball family and in the trenches during contests.

“There’s a level of intensity that comes when it’s the third match and you’re down to those final points,” said 6-foot-1 outside hitter Schoene, who was a first-team all-leaguer last season along with Michele. “It really pushes you to the limit and you work together as a team. You’re going after everything, you’re hitting the floor — no matter what.”

The two senior co-captains helped lead the Grizzlies to a third-place tie with Lynden Christian at last Friday’s Sundome Volleyball Festival in Yakima. Overlake, a 1A school, placed 17th in the event, which featured 32 teams from the 1B, 2B and 1A divisions.

Sherrie said the Grizzlies (27-3-1 last season) like to begin their campaign at the Yakima preseason tourney and hopefully finish up at the Sundome at the state championships in November. Over the last three years at state, the girls have finished fifth, fourth and eighth, respectively.

“I’ve got kids who work hard and they just work to improve every day. I think that’s their motto, what’s driving them,” said Sherrie, whose team went 12-0 in league the last two years and didn’t lose a set during that time frame.

On Thursday, the Grizzlies defeated Darrington in four sets. Schoene led the way in the nonleague contest with 20 kills, 15 digs and seven aces; Michele had 33 assists; Morgan Cadigan had 21 digs; and Gracie Matthews had 20 digs.

Michele, whose dad, Greg, coaches her Sudden Impact select volleyball club, feels Bear Creek is on the right track for success this season.

“We keep doing the work, because every year we’ve improved and I think there’s no exception for this year,” Michele said. “I think we just keep going and hopefully we’ll be in the last game at state — that’s what we’re striving for.”

On that note, Michele and Schoene glance up at the state banners in the Bear Creek gym and point to the place where they’d like to see a volleyball championship banner. It’s their time, they said.

The Bear Creek family of players will be together reaching for that title the whole way, Schoene said.

“I love coming to practice every day. Sometimes I get home late from games and sometimes I don’t have much time to finish my homework, but I would not trade this little dynamic that we have for anything,” she said. “These girls are my best friends and I just love playing with my best friends. And it’s such a fun game, too.”

• At Overlake, coach Scott Christopher’s team made it to state for the first time last season, going two-and-out and finishing 14-8 overall.The Owls went 4-2 at last week’s Yakima tourney and defeated Goldendale in three sets to win the No. 3 seed bracket.

In total, setter Vanessa Rosato had 67 assists and 10 aces, Carly Silvernale had 55 digs and six aces, Clara Voss had 36 kills and Andreea Gavrilescu had 28 kills and 12 aces.In a five-set thriller on Tuesday, University Prep defeated Overlake: 25-23, 18-25, 21-25, 25-23, 15-13.

“I definitely like the way this team is. We’re a very young team and there’s a lot of potential on this team,” Christopher said. “I’ve seen great progress from Yakima to now.”

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