Volleyball: Woodburn teammates sign to play at SW Oregon
Two of Woodburn's top graduating volleyball players will be trading the fertile fields of Marion County for the Oregon coast after signing to continue their athletic careers at Southwest Oregon Community College in Coos Bay this fall.
Seniors Domnika Krivoshein and Devanee Ott-Parker signed their letters of intent last week to play for the Racoons front of friends and family in a ceremony that had more meaning behind it that a typical college signing. The two teammates were the first members of the Woodburn volleyball program to sign for a collegiate team in eight years.
"It's a huge accomplishment for these girls, and for the program, and for Woodburn," Assistant Coach Emily O'Neal said. " I've had the opportunity to be a part of their lives for the last four years. To see them grow, not only as volleyball players, but as young women, it's amazing."
Ott-Parker and Krivoshein, who was a member of the All-Conference Honorable Mention Team this past fall, weren't surprised that the streak had reached back nearly a decade, noting that it can be difficult to get the attention of collegiate programs while playing for a Woodburn team that last beat a Mid-Willamette Conference opponent in 2010.
"We kind of figured that, because we don't really win league matches," Ott-Parker said.
"So college coaches don't really look at us seriously," Krivoshein added.
Instead of despairing at the lack of attention, the Woodburn teammates took it as a challenge and worked harder to make themselves noticeable to prospective programs. The pair continued to play in the offseason, attending the Shamrock Showcase — a tournament designed to highlight prospective unsigned college players — while getting help from club coaches to explore any avenue that was available to play collegiately.
"These coaches pushed us," Krivoshein said. "So we put ourselves out there and put in a lot of work."
Eventually the work paid off when they caught the attention of Southwest Oregon coach Michael Edmond, and when Ott-Parker and Krivoshein went out to tour the campus at Coos Bay, they knew they found the place they wanted to be for the next two years.
"The coach is really nice and the team is super welcoming," said Ott-Parker, who is looking forward to the experience of living on the coast. "I get a four-year vibe from it, because it has dorms, so you can live on campus."
"We felt like we can bond with them really well," Krivoshein said.
Together, Krivoshein and Ott-Parker and hoping their persistence shows future Woodburn players that there are still opportunities to continue playing after high school, even if the program lacks the kind of success that attracts college recruits.
"Hopefully they push themselves as hard as we did, and maybe even more," Krivoshein said. "I feel like we gave an open eye to Woodburn players that they can sign if they put in enough work."