Tigard boasts key returnees and talented newcomers

by: DAN BROOD - DOUBLE TEAM -- Tigard's Michelle Simmons (left) and Lindsey Rosette (1) go up together for a block in a match last year. Simmons and Rosette both are back for their season season with the Tigers. TIGARD — Last year was a banner year for the Tigard High School volleyball team.

Not only did the Tigers finish in second place in the Pacific Conference standing with a 12-2 conference record, but they also scored a 25-12, 25-11, 25-4 victory over Grant for their first state playoff victory since 1992.

This year, with some talented returnees, some promising newcomers and a lot of hard work, Tigard is looking for some more success.

“Our outlook is good,” Tigard coach Rob Coelho said. “I like the group of girls we have this year. We have some strong leadership in place and should be able to compete. We have a good group of girls who came into tryouts and worked really hard and have earned themselves a spot on our team. I am very proud of how these girls have worked.”

Tigard returns a strong core of players from last year’s squad, including a pair of standout seniors in outside hitter Lindsey Rosette and middle blocker Michelle Simmons.

Last year, Rosette was a second team All-Pacific Conference selection as an all-around player and Simmons earned second team all-league accolades as a hitter/middle blocker.

Another returnee, sophomore Cassie Erickson, was an honorable-mention all-league pick as a hitter/middle blocker.

Sophomore defensive specialist Jenna Horton is another key returnee for the Tigers.

Among the key newcomers to the Tigard varsity are freshman setter Hannah Miller and junior outside hitter/opposite Kaylie Boschma.

“These two girls are new to our program and have made quite an impact so far,” Coelho said. “They have established themselves as strong players in our program and we look for them to play an important role early in our season.”

The Tigers will also look to their senior players for guidance.

“We have a good core of four seniors on our team this year,” Coelho said. “I expect all four of them to have a strong leadership role on the team.”

On the court, Tigard will be looking to smack the ball around — hard.

“I believe our strongest asset will be at outside hitter,” Coelho said. “We have some depth and strong hitters at this position. We also have a really strong attack in our senior middle hitter Michelle Simmons.”

As for the Pacific Conference this season, Coelho isn’t sure, yet, what to expect.

“We begin the season not knowing too much about where we stack up against the rest of the league,” he said.

Tigard will get a chance to see some of its Pacific Conference foes today (Thursday) when it hosts the league jamboree, which will starts at 4 p.m.

The Tigers will open their Pacific Conference schedule Tuesday when it hosts Glencoe in a match starting at 6:45 p.m.