Eagles look to soar up Nisqually standings

Last season the Klahowya Eagles volleyball team went 4-11 overall.

So when the Eagles beat Orting on Wednesday, it was not only the team’s first Nisqually League win of the season, but also the team’s fourth overall, showing just how much improvement the young squad has made.

New coach Kanoe Lilly, a former player at Central Kitsap and Olympic College, said while it’s beeen hard to track the squad’s progress so far, mostly because of the quality of opponents, she said the squad is looking to ruffle a few Nisqually feathers.

“It’s hard to say,” Lilly said after the 3-0 win over Orting (25-17, 25-18, 25-23). “It’s my first year, so we’re just hoping to make something happen.”

The win over Orting was nice, as some of the non-league games the Eagles have played have been “like playing our JV,” Lilly said.

“I knew what to expect but they were better than in previous years that I’ve seen them,” Lilly said. “We’ve played a couple teams that are like playing our JV. So this is better. They made our players play.”

There’s been a few little bumps in the road so far for the Eagles (4-2, 1-1) however.

“It’s been hard,” Lilly said. “We’ve had a couple injuries with our starters but the bench has really stepped up and kept us competitive.”

Tricia Brown, the team’s returning setter, sprained her wrist and Danya Mares, whom the Eagles expect to be a powerhouse in the middle, has been fighting a nagging achilles tendon injury.

But with senior captain Jody Shaefer and fellow seniors Haylee Ellis, Charley Chissus, junior Trisha Rarey, sophomore Katie Stephens and freshman Tara Patton stepping up against Orting, the team should have a depth of talent once healthy. Senior Rancy Retzloff, junior libero Rachel Stocks and sophomore Jessica Wilson have also made early contributions off the bench.

“Our girls really get together really well,” Lilly said. “They’re all good at the teamwork aspect of the game.”

Against Orting, the Eagles looked sharp on most serve attempts, with Stephens serving 100 percent. Also, while Mares got into the game late, scoring 5 of the Eagles last 6 points in the third game, Patton stepped up, leading the team with 9 kills. Getting contributions from everyone, regardless of grade, will be key for the Eagles, Lilly said.

“We have a good range of age in our team,” she said. “Our freshman really stepped up her game.”

Lilly also has been trying to get the school more involved, which showed in a turnout that was much

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