By Chris Parker
Spokane posted a 15-win season that ended with a district semifinal loss to Crane last year. Five key players from that team return this year.
Galilea Haro is the top returning player after earning second-team all-conference honors as a libero in her junior season. This year she will be a senior leader after leading the team with 276 digs last year.
“She is a huge asset to our team defensively. We wouldn’t be the same team without her,” coach Kandace Drake said. “She is reading the other team’s offense very well this year, is very vocal on the court and is a team leader. I expect big things from her.”
Haro was also the best at serving for the Lady Owls with 52 aces last season.
Brooke Martin earned honorable mention all-conference honors as a setter/hitter last year as a freshman. She transferred in from Nixa prior to last year and had never set before.
“She has come a long way. She set for her club season too and is starting to understand the dynamics of being a setter and getting smarter on the court. She is also one of my strongest hitters,” Drake said.
Martin was second on the team with 102 kills last year. Senior Allison Hopper was the main setter last year and is back after a 274-assist season.
Juniors Paige Tate and Josie Jordan along with Martin will be the key hitters for the Lady Owls this year. Lydia Davis (junior middle), Mackenzie Guerin (sophomore middle), Micayla McCluer (junior defensive specialist) and Madi Bonzer (sophomore right side) are some new faces to the varsity line-up to watch.
That strong mix of youth and experience has expectations high for the Spokane volleyball program.
“The girls improved as a team over the summer and if they can keep building their team chemistry and working hard, they could definitely go somewhere this season,” Drake said. “Of course we are always aiming to win the SWCL and make it further in districts than the previous year and I expect them to make steps toward reaching the goals they have set for themselves. Excited to see what they can accomplish this season.”
Spokane opens the season on Aug. 24 at home against School of the Ozarks.