Hillsboro's Webb, Freimuth honored by NWOC
The Northwest Oregon Conference announced its all-league honorees recently, and while Hillsboro didn't collect many wins during the year, their progress and effort throughout was acknowledged by way of individual recognition.
The Spartans' Kaleah Webb and Sofiya Freimuth were amongst this year's honorees, earning both second team and honorable mention.
Webb, a sophomore setter and middle blocker for Hillsboro, was a second team selection despite just two years of volleyball experience to her credit. Last year the 6-foot-1 netter played middle hitter for the Sparts, but this season was moved to the setter position out of necessity and she — per her coach — filled the void admirably.
"She stepped up," Hillsboro head coach Suzan Hopman said. "By the second half of the season everyone noticed her, from referees, to opposing coaches and scouting club coaches."
The coach added that Webb has "beautiful hands," is a great blocker and server, exemplifies team player, in addition to being one of the hardest workers on the team.
"Kiki (Webb) is one of the hardest working players on the team and a true team player," the coach said. "The fact that she's only played two seasons of volleyball, yet made all-league, will be inspiring for the entire team."
In addition to Webb, Freimuth was selected honorable mention. Hopman said that, like Webb, the senior libero and outside hitter was a beacon of determination and hard work, and was fearless in a role that takes a certain level of moxie.
"She was always in the firing lane for the hardest hitters in the league, and she relished that role," Hopman said. "She was always determined to get the perfect dig or serve receive pass up to the setter. That hard work, determination, and focus has set an example that we believe will inspire others to step into the role next year with the same heart and drive to get the job done well."
And what about next year? With just one win this season, the Sparts certainly have room for improvement. But Hopman said the team made significant strides from last year through this season's slate, and as a result of another year of building, the team is in position to see a serious uptick next year.
"After a couple of years of building the culture and developing the program, we feel we are poised for a successful 2020," the second year coach said. "We have players excited to take the program to a much higher level, and are doing several important things in the off season to prepare for 2020."
One of those things was attending this year's state playoffs as spectators, with the understanding that it's often best to see firsthand the direct rewards of winning rather than via indirect means.
"The coaches and players are excited to grow Spartan volleyball into a positive, winning program that the Hilhi community will stand up and notice, support and they can be proud of."
The NWOC all-league first team consisted of Scappoose's Darci DeTroy, Wilsonville's Lindsey Hartford, Clarissa Klein and Kennedy Juranek, Putnam's Vai Taale, Parkrose's Natalie Mathers, La Salle's Maggie Rasch, and St. Helens' Savannah Moore.
The second team was Webb, Parkrose's Sydney Fritz, Putnam's Bella Baragona, La Salle's Maggie Gabrish and Katelyn Bell, Wilsonville's Ashli Edmiston and Grace Thompson, and Milwaukie's Ellie Brown.
The Co-Conference Player's of the Year were DeTroy and Hartford, and the Co-Coaches of the Year were Parkrose's Nabila Gaines and Wilsonville's Nathan Blankenship.
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