By Chris Parker
Spokane was a young team last year with seven of nine players that saw time in at least 60 sets being non-seniors. The young Lady Owls finished 14-14-3 overall.
This year, Spokane will look to use experience gained last season for an even more successful 2019.
“They have all done a great job stepping in to some new roles this season and seem to be playing very well as a team this summer. They show up and want to be there whether it be games or open gyms and the work ethic is there,” head coach Kandace Drake said.
Brooke Martin led Spokane with 162 kills in her sophomore season. She earned first-team all-conference honors for her efforts.
“She (Martin) can adjust to anything and she’s smart with placement. She sees the court well. We can always count on her to put the ball down and be consistent,” Drake said. “This year she’s stepping onto the court with good varsity experience since she’s been starting since she was a freshman. She has always been a leader by example but I’m hoping she can step into an even more effective leadership role this year as an upperclassman.”
Josie Jordan earned honorable mention all-conference honors as a junior. She had 130 kills to finish second on the team. She led the Lady Owls in aces with 28. Jordan also was second on the team in serve-receives (180) and digs (194).
“Josie is the best team leader I’ve ever had the privilege of coaching and as a senior,” Drake said. “She is stepping into an even bigger leadership role and will be just what the team needs this year. She is such a smart, versatile player and she will be a huge part of our team this year.”
Paige Tate (senior) and Mackenzie Guerin (junior) will play in the middle for Spokane. Lydia Davis (right side) will be moving from the middle. Micayla McCluer and Jordyn Rollings will be pushing for time at libero and defensive specialist.
Sophomores Marah Davis and Paige Crabtree will also be pushing for varsity time this season.
“I’m hoping we will continue really playing as a team and being competitive on the court. From what I’ve seen this summer, I think this group can accomplish whatever they set their minds to,” Drake said. “We have a tough conference and an even tougher district, but I know the girls are always shooting for a conference championship and to go as far as we can in districts. I’m excited to see what this team can do this year. The drive is there and I’m ready to get started.”
Spokane opens the season on Aug. 30 at the School of the Ozarks.