By Josh Hall (Josh.firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Spokane High School volleyball team was relatively young last season.
The Lady Owls had four freshmen, three seniors along with a couple of sophomores and juniors in the mix from last year’s team that went 7-18-1 after losing to Forsyth in the first round of the Class 2, District 10 tournament.
Spokane graduates those seniors, including SWCL honorable mention selections Danielle Hopper and Hannah Gulick, but the Lady Owls return a handful of players that gained valuable experience as underclassmen.
That experience has head coach Kandace Parks excited.
“We think we can do something in districts,” Parks said at a tournament in June. “We feel like we can get farther than we did last year, for sure.”
Spokane returns three key players from a year ago.
Galilea Haro is back for her junior year after compiling 248 digs and 353 receptions as the team’s libero.
“She was awesome last year,” Parks said.
Senior outside hitter Taylor Riot had 87 kills and 33 digs last season and will be the veteran leader for the Lady Owls this season.
“She plays all the way around,” Parks said. “She did big things for us last year.”
Jo Weter led the team in blocks as freshman middle and is expected to be a force for Spokane this season after the success she saw in 2016.
“She’s come a long way in a year,” Parks said. “I’m really excited for her.”
Josie Jordan also saw time at middle as a freshman, and will be another important piece for Spokane in 2017.
New to the mix is freshman Brooke Martin. A transfer from Nixa, Martin is expected to be the starting setter for the Lady Owls this season.
“I think this is a good, positive group of girls and that’s huge,” Parks said. “I’m really excited.”