Blaine volleyball’s roster includes four of six returning starters from a team that qualified for the state tournament last season. If those experienced players can integrate some talented newcomers to the team, the Borderites will have a shot at making it back to state in 2019.
“Having four returners who all had a major role last year, that’s helping for sure,” said head coach Jacquie Smith. “The new girls who are coming in are going to have those leaders to guide them.”
The team’s strengths will include setting and defense, Smith said. Third-year varsity starter Kylah Wilskey will be setting – arguably the most important position in volleyball. Senior team co-captain Cassidy Condos will also start for the third year in a row in the defensive specialist “libero” position.
Other returning starters are Condos’ fellow senior captain Emma Mulryan and 5’11” power hitter Mia Scheepens. Six-foot-tall freshman Anika Hagen adds a boost of height as middle hitter and fellow freshman middle hitter Kierstin Soto will likely join the group of starters.
In the preseason, the team is working to find its best combination of hitters and developing communication.
“The girls all get along really well so I think that will come into play as the season progresses. I think that will help them develop as a unit,” Smith said. “This team has a lot of potential. They work hard. We are ready to make a run for another state berth!”
Blaine faces Sehome in its first regular season game at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 16, at Sehome High School. The Borderites’ first home game is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18, against Lynden.