Youthful Estacada volleyball to build culture of winning
There is a youth movement going on in Estacada's gym, with a volleyball team ready to set up a new culture of winning.
"I think this team has a strong chance at making a state run and competing for the title," said Coach Jordan Johnson. "I have a young group who are very invested and excited in seeing this program really grow and become competitive again."
Last season was tough, with the Rangers finishing near the bottom of the Tri-Valley Conference. But the memories are short and the talent is deep for a Rangers program with an influx of new talent.
"We have height and natural athleticism," Johnson said.
The leaders will be a pair of third-year varsity stars, who both bring calming presences into the locker room — team captain Libby Juker, setter, and Emree Hunter, who is making the shift from outside hitter to starting libero. Juker has already received buzz from national watch-lists for her ability to play at the next level, while Hunter is a jack-of-all-trades who can fill any role for the Rangers. They all will be invaluable voices on the court as Estacada is likely to be starting a trio of sophomores.
One of those talented newcomers is Abby Behrman, who coach Jackson is raving about during the first weeks of practice. Behrman was named to starting middle in her first year on varsity, and there is talk she will be contending for all-league and all-state honors.
"(I'm) expecting incredible things out of this one," Johnson said. "She is an excellent player on and off the court."
And it is the young talent that has everyone in the Rangers program so excited. Though it might be a slow start for Estacada volleyball, as they work out the growing pains of new faces and shifted positions, the future has never been brighter.
"I am excited to see where things can go this year," Johnson said.
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