(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
TOUGH TEAM IN TOUGH LEAGUE: Colville hoping to break through for one of two state berths from NEA League…
The Colville Indians have big goals for the 2019 season and they have the experience to pull it off.
The Indians have nine returners, including five seniors that should provide a base leadership for the squad which placed third in the volleyball power-laden NEA League last year.
Katelynn Lewis will be a strong defensive specialist and outside hitter. Brooke Stutzer will use her 5’10” height to be a middle blocker as will Mia Mascarinas, while Molly Schauls will bring the hurt as an outside hitter, and Mayzie Gariepy will do the same from the right side.
According to head coach Jacque Bassett, these seniors have been with the team for a long time and want to see their careers end with an appearance at state. In 2016, the team went 9-7, followed by a 13-11 year and then a 10-7 campaign in 2018.
“It’s been an amazing senior class. This team is like family and the upperclassmen are helping to teach all the girls on the squad,” Basset said. “They know the expectations and they are helping the newcomers coming in.”
Colville has been a power in the league and a tough game on the schedule for teams, but it’s a hard scrabble life in the NEA League with powerhouses aplenty.
“This league has gotten increasingly strong the last several years,” Bassett said. “You can expect the teams that make it to state from our league to place in the top six, and we’ve had glue games with the Caribou Trail League who you can expect to do the same.”
The team doesn’t want to leave anything to chance and has been toiling away in the weight room and attending the Gonzaga Volleyball camp. The result should be an improved team from last year that finished 8-4 in the NEA League and placed third. They were a win away from state last year, and this time around they want to punch their ticket to the Yakima Sundome. They’ll have to push through in the regular and postseason, nabbing one of the two berths to state that the league gets.
“We have some strong servers and we are pretty scrappy defenders,” Colville Head Coach Jacque Bassett said. “We will work off our tall middles on offense, and be prepared for some long rallies.”
Freeman and Lakeside look to be the strong squads this year, and Bassett expects battles with extra long rallies in that matchup.
Lakeside is always a tremendous power for eastside teams and finished seventh last year while Freeman finished sixth in the state tournament.
This time around Colville wants to be in that kind of bracket play with state placings attached to the outcome, and with the experience the Indians have coming back for 2019, they know what it takes to accomplish that.