If three seniors lifted the Indians to the first round of Class 4A state last fall, what will happen with five?
All-Cowapa League outside hitter Hannah Galey is one of five fourth-year players with Erin Reardon, also an outside hitter, middle blocker Kristina Barnes and defensive specialists Kyleigh Weber and Annabelle Broderick in the Class 4A first-rounder Indians' quest to reach at least the play-in round for the sixth year in a row.
"Right now I'm looking forward to everyone being back and being our full team," Galey said. "The [Astoria Jamboree, where Scappoose saw each of its Cowapa League rivals including league champion-turned-third-place state finisher Valley Catholic, fifth-place Banks and first-rounder Seaside with the exception of Tillamook] was tough without all of our back row players, so once we get them back we should be really tough."
Shaylan Smith (outside hitter), Kamryn Erickson (middle blocker), Charlotte Feige and Masyn Clark (right-siders), and Riley Nuss (defensive specialist) are juniors in the rotation. Hailey Keller (outside hitter) and Darci DeTroy (right-sider) are sophomores.
Mark Sprenger, coming into his sixth year as varsity coach and his 13th in all, helped to start the postseason streak after Scappoose missed state consideration in each of their first six Class 4A seasons.
The Indians (2-0 overall) opened with a pair of sweeps (25-17, 25-13, 25-13 at Yamhill-Carlton on Aug. 29, and 25-13, 25-9, 25-23 at Molalla on Aug. 31).
Play-in rounder Corbett and expected returning all-Tri-Valley Conference seniors Faith McQueen (middle blocker) and Abby Fritz and Heather Flannigan (outside hitters) are set to play host at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Estacada and presumptive returning all-Tri-Valley seniors Karlye Nakashimada and Sophia Davies (outside hitters) and juniors Trinity Gach (middle blocker) and Emily Gant (libero), also back from the play-in round, will host Scappoose on Thursday.
"I've kinda got the Estacada match circled: I'm not sure we've ever won there," Sprenger said. "We're not in front of our fans [in the first four games before the Cascade Tournament, featuring the first-rounder Cougars, set for Sept. 9 in Turner], but we'll be road-tested."
In the first of three marquee two-game league series, the Tribe faces Seaside and all-league seniors Alyssia Gonzales and Jetta Ideue (outside hitters) and junior setter Anna Huddleston on Sept. 12 and Sept. 28.
Scappoose faces Banks, including all-league junior middle blocker Bella Albert, sophomore setter Lindsey Beck, on Sept. 19 and Oct. 5.
Valley Catholic's all-league Coach of the Year Becky Kemper and all-state senior outside hitter Lizzy Osborn are set for Sept. 21 and Oct. 11.
"Any time you have five seniors, you have a chance at a very successful season," Sprenger said. "I anticipate they'll win a lot of games for us."
SEASON OUTLOOK: The Indians will play a major role in deciding the Cowapa League championship race as only Astoria projects to return more seniors (six) than Scappoose and Tillamook's five, Seaside's four, Banks' three and Valley Catholic's two.
SCAPPOOSE AT CORBETT
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
Setting the curve: The Class 4A first-round Indians can beat the play-in rounder Cardinals for the second year in a row
Coach: Mark Sprenger (Sixth year)
Classification: Class 4A, Cowapa League
2016 finish: 15-9 overall, 4-6 Cowapa League (Fourth in league, reached first round of state)
Hannah Galey, sr., OH
Kristina Barnes, sr., MB
Kyleigh Weber, sr., DS
Shaylan Smith, jr., OH
Kamryn Erickson, jr., MB
Charlotte Feige, jr., RS/S
Riley Nuss, jr., DS
Erin Reardon, sr., OH
Annabelle Broderick, sr., DS
Masyn Clark, jr., RS
Hailey Keller, so., OH
Darci Detroy, so., RS/S
Sept. 5 Scappoose at Corbett, 6 p.m.
Sept. 7 Estacada at Scappoose, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 Scappoose at Cascade Tournament, Cascade High School, in Turner
Sept. 12 Scappoose at Seaside, 6:45 p.m. *
Sept. 14 Tillamook at Scappoose, 6:45 p.m. *
Sept. 19 Banks at Scappoose, 6:45 p.m. *
Sept. 21 Scappoose at Valley Catholic, 6:45 p.m., in Beaverton *
Sept. 26 Astoria at Scappoose, 6:45 p.m. *
Sept. 28 Seaside at Scappoose, 6:45 p.m. *
Sept. 30 Scappoose at Junction City Tournament , Junction City High School Oct. 3 Scappoose at Tillamook, 6:45 p.m. *
Oct. 5 Scappoose at Banks, 6:45 p.m. *
Oct. 7 Scappoose at Corbett Tournament, Corbett High School
Oct. 11 Valley Catholic at Scappoose, 6:45 p.m. *
Oct. 17 Scappoose at Astoria, 6:45 p.m. *
* - Cowapa League game