Fall sports preview 2013: Wilsonville volleyball
Wildcats looking to build on momentum with new coach
After the Wilsonville volleyball teams final match last year, then-coach Melanie Buchanan said she wished the season wasnt over yet because things were finally starting to look promising.
This year, the challenge for the Wildcats is to carry their momentum forward with a new coach. Buchanan, who spearheaded the program for four years, has been replaced by Kristen Rott.
The transition marks the extension of a standout career in athletics for Rott, an Oregon City native and a two-sport standout in high school and college.
Rott, who graduated from Oregon City High School in 2004, was the Gatorade girls basketball player of the year as a senior and led the Pioneers to three state titles. She was also a McDonalds All-America honoree.
Rott then played basketball at the University of Oregon for two years, making the Pac-10 all-freshman team in 2005, before joining the universitys volleyball team for two years.
Playing competitive volleyball for the first time since high school, Rott led the Ducks in blocks (117) and was second in attack percentage (.324) as a junior and ranked second in both categories as a senior. She helped the squad reach the NCAA regionals in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history.
After graduating from Oregon, Rott played professional basketball in Gotha, Germany, in 2009.
Rott then returned to Eugene that fall, serving as a campus tutor. She rejoined the Ducks volleyball program as a volunteer coach in 2010 while earning a masters degree in education.
In 2011, Rott was hired as an assistant coach on the volleyball team at the University of Pennsylvania. She also held an administrative position in the athletics department during her time with the Quakers.
Rott also gained experience as a technical advisor and recruiting coordinator for the Cherry Hill Volleyball Club in New Jersey before taking her current job at Wilsonville.
An attempt to reach Rott was not successful.
Rott takes the helm of a program that won just four matches last year but returns several skilled players, including three returning all-league honorees in all-around sophomore Madi Wardle, junior outside hitter Lexy Thompson and junior setter Hailey Hayes.
Sophomore libero Skyler Matthews, 6-foot sophomore middle hitter Genna Florig could also make key contributions after seeing varsity playing time as freshmen last season.
The Wildcats begin conference play at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 10 at home against Putnam. They are slated to host Sherwood at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 17.
AT A GLANCE
WILSONVILLE VOLLEYBALL 2013
Coach: Kristen Rott (first year)
Last year: 4-13 (4-10 in the Northwest Oregon Conference); no playoffs
Key players: Hailey Hayes, Madi Wardle, Lexy Thompson
Key loss: Jessica Portillo
Outlook: Wilsonville will attempt to build on last seasons momentum it won its final three conference matches of 2012 with a new coach who boasts Division I playing experience.
First home match: 6:45 p.m. Sept. 10 vs. Putnam
9/5 Liberty tourney 4:30 p.m.
9/7 Silverton tourney TBD
9/10 PUTNAM * 6:45 p.m.
9/12 Liberty * 6:45 p.m.
9/14 Tualatin tourney TBD
9/17 SHERWOOD * 6:45 p.m.
9/19 St. Helens * 6:45 p.m.
9/21 TOURNAMENT TBD
9/24 Parkrose * 6:45 p.m.
9/26 SANDY * 6:45 p.m.
10/1 MILWAUKIE * 6:45 p.m.
10/3 Putnam * 6:45 p.m.
10/8 LIBERTY * 6:45 p.m.
10/10 Sherwood * 6:45 p.m.
10/15 ST. HELENS * 6:45 p.m.
10/17 PARKROSE * 6:45 p.m.
10/19 West Linn tourney TBD
10/22 Sandy * 6:45 p.m.
10/24 Milwaukie * 6:45 p.m.
* Northwest Oregon Conference match