2021-22 Pacific Conference volleyball all-stars announced
Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Sherwood volleyball players were well-represented recently on the 2021-22 list of Pacific Conference all-stars.
Sherwood led the local contingent with four first and second teamers, Glencoe placed three on the list, Century two, while Liberty and Forest Grove added one a piece. In all, the five local high schools had — including honorable mention — 24 girls recognized.
Newberg junior Sophi Gregoire-Salagean was voted as the Player of the Year, and Glencoe head coach Heather Driver along with Century's Melissa Salness were elected as the Co-Coaches of the Year.
Driver — after coaching last spring's abbreviated season — was in her first full season as head coach of the Crimson Tide, while Salness completed her fifth season on the Jaguars' sidelines.
Salness called the award "humbling" in a text exchange this past week and added that she was pleased that the work that she and her players have put in over the years was being recognized by the other coaches in the league. She also spoke to the virtues of coaching, speaking specifically to what transcends the results on the court.
"I believe teaching these young women about becoming better individuals by being team players and understanding how to work with others in a positive way is key to overall success," she said. "Winning is also a plus, but shouldn't always be in the forefront of our minds in high school sports."
She added that the award, along with the success they had this season was a testament to the strides they've made since her first season at Century.
"This year was the best year Century has had in 10 years," she said. "I remember my first season when we were in the Metro League and didn't win a game. But each year there was improvement in the record as we built our way up."
Century's Tehya Militante was a first team all-conference selection as an outside hitter/defensive specialist. Salness said that the junior lacks a true position due to her ability to play anywhere on the court, but despite that the league chose to recognize her talent and accomplishments this season with a first team honor.
"It's a huge recognition and I believe she truly deserved it," Salness said. "She's 5-foot-4 and plays like she's 5-foot-9. She's a dominant player."
Joining Militante on the first team was Gregoire-Salagean, Glencoe sophomore outside hitter Elisabeth Levick, Sherwood senior Alyssa Kapuniai-Ryan, McMinnville's Megan Sebree, Sherwood senior Gianna Friendy, along with Forest Grove senior middle blocker Valentina Raggi.
Raggi — a foreign exchange student from Italy — was integrated into the Vikings' starting rotation slowly, but after getting her feet wet became a force for a Forest Grove team that finished 7-12 overall.
"I'm proud that Valentina received the recognition she deserved for her play this year," Forest Grove head coach Amber Lieb said. "She is a very talented athlete and I'm sad that she was only part of our program for this one season, but feel so blessed to have the opportunity to coach such a talented and sweet young Italian woman."
Friendy was a rock in the lineup for the league champion Bowmen that finished 18-4 overall and advanced to the state playoffs' second round, and Sherwood head coach Jenette Brotnov said after the regular season that her contributions went far beyond the stat sheet.
"She's (Friendy) the glue that holds us together," Brotnov said. "When she's on, I feel like our team is on, and when she makes big plays it really gets our whole team going."
The second team consisted of Sherwood's Emily Fulton and Caitlin Kirkpatrick, Glencoe's Hannah Willard and Ava Maslen, Newberg's McKensi Erion, Liberty's Aviana Gonzales, and Century's Neveah Baccay.
The entire list of honorees can be seen below:
Player of the Year:Â Sophie Gregoire-Salagean, Newberg
Co-Coach of the Year:Â Heather Driver, Glencoe and Melissa Salness, Century
Sophie Gregoire-Salagean Newberg Junior OH
Elisabeth Levick Glencoe Sophomore OH
Alyssa Kapuniai-Ryan Sherwood Senior S
Tehya Militante Century Junior OH/DS
Megan Sebree McMinnville Senior OH
Valentina Raggi Forest Grove Senior MB
Gianna Friendy Sherwood Senior L
Emily Fulton Sherwood Sophomore OH
Neveah Baccay Century Senior L
Hannah Willard Glencoe Senior MB
Aviana Gonzales Liberty Senior L
Caitlin Kirkpatrick Sherwood Junior MB
Ava Maslen Glencoe Senior L
McKensi Erion Newberg Junior S
Ava Jones Liberty Junior S
Emma Jones Liberty Junior MB/OH
Abbigail Klaus Forest Grove Senior OH
Audrey Duckworth Newberg Junior RS
Kara Richman Newberg Junior OH
Kimy Anderson Century Senior MB
Tehani Militante Century Freshman S/OH
Liv Van Austen Sherwood Junior Opposite
Samarea Barber Century Senior OH
Brooke Johnson Century Senior S
Paige Mahan Liberty Junior DS/OH
Mikalyn Freeman McMinnville Junior MB
Emma Lane McMinnville Junior DS
Emma Vaughn Newberg Senior L
Alexa Beaudry Newberg Senior M/OH
Rylee Perlmutter Sherwood Junior OH
Emma Lake Liberty Junior OH
April Jones Glencoe Junior MB
Faith Stavens Forest Grove Senior DS
Bella Peralta McMinnville Junior S
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