Sherwood volleyball team is looking for some more success

SHERWOOD — The Sherwood High School volleyball team may have a bit of a new look to it this year.

But the Lady Bowmen are still hoping to enjoy the same type of success they’ve had in recent years.

Sherwood, despite losing some key players from last year’s Northwest Oregon Conference championship team to graduation, are still taking high hopes into the 2013 season.

“This season is much different than previous seasons, because we have many new players on the team,” Sherwood coach Emily Gustafson said. “After losing several key players last year (Kathryn Groenweghe to the University of Nevada, Jessie Koster to the University of Dallas and Devon Saucy to Mt. Hood Community College) there are many opportunities for the new players to step up into leadership roles. We are excited about the new team and looking forward to having another successful season.”

Among the key returnees from last year’s Sherwood team that went 14-0 in NWOC matches, are junior setter/middle blocker Mallory Shields (5-foot-11) and senior outside hitter/right side Hannah Valesano (5-11).by: DAN BROOD - BOWMEN LEADER -- Junior Mallory Shields, who will play at setter, could be a team leader for Sherwood this season.

“I am looking to Mallory Shields to step up in a leadership role as our setter, as well as Hannah Valesano in the outside hitter position,” Gustafson said.

Also returning for the Lady Bowmen are junior outside hitter/right side Maddie McSmith (5-6), senior outside hitter Charity Doyel (5-8), senior defensive specialist Maggie Kirven (5-2) and senior middle blocker/right side Alex Hubbard (6-5).

Among the key newcomers to the squad are juniors Britnie Jacobsen (5-11) and Taylor Hubbard (6-1) and freshman Sarah Penner (5-11).

“I am excited about newcomers Britnie Jacobsen and Taylor Hubbard in the middle, as well as Sarah Penner as an outside hitter,” Gustafson said.

Other newcomers to the Sherwood varsity include junior defensive specialist/libero Megan Kittel (5-3), junior defensive specialist/libero Lena Cottrell, junior outside hitter/right side Katie Munk (5-7), junior outside hitter/right side Taylor Munro (5-7) and junior setter/right side Hannah Atkins (5-6).

As for the race for Northwest Oregon Conference supremacy this year, Gustafson sees a competitive battle ahead for the top spot.

“The league title is up for grabs again,” she said.

Sherwood, which won the Class 5A state championship in 2010, will open its season Sept. 5 when it plays at the NWOC jamboree to be held at Liberty High School.

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