Three coaches in three years? Generally not a good thing for a high school sports program, but at least Warrenton volleyball is sticking with familiar names.
After Jenny (Forney) Smith stepped down following the 2015 season, former coach Jim Hackwith took over and ran the Warriors in 2016. Hackwith has re-retired, and now Warrenton volleyball has brought in one of its former players to run the program, as Staci Miethe takes over as varsity coach for 2017.
Miethe has plenty of volleyball experience (first-team all-league as a player at WHS). She coached middle school volleyball and was an assistant under former coach Dianne Dick, before serving as an official at high school matches in recent years.
She has also followed Warrenton volleyball closely for the last four years, with daughter Landree on the team.
“I don’t think it’s going to be too difficult for (the current players) to adjust to my system, because I’m sticking to the basics,” Miethe said. “I’m going with what I know, and emphasizing fundamentals.”
As the Warrenton softball coach, “they know that any time I coach, I come with passion and intensity. I think I’m convincing them that I’m not just filling in. I’m here to be their coach, and I’m not just a softball coach who’s helping out.”
Like basketball, the Lewis & Clark is a crowded league when it comes to indoor sports.
Rainier, Portland Christian, Oregon Episcopal, Portland Adventist — last year’s top four teams in L&C volleyball all had winning league records.
Unfortunately, the league did not have a single representative in the final eight at the state tournament — even the Columbians, who went into the state playoffs with an 11-0 league record and ranked seventh. Rainier suffered an upset loss to Coquille in the Sweet 16, while OES and Portland Christian lost in three-game sweeps.
The Warriors were 5-7 against league competition last season, but a combined 0-6 against the top four teams.
Not much changes from year to year in the L&C.
“Rainier is still going to be the one to beat,” Miethe said. “Breanna Edwards is a senior and probably the best player in the league.
“Our goal is to finish in the top half of league and make the playoffs, because once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen.”
THE LADY WARRIORS
While one Miethe comes in to coach, another one has graduated and moved on.
Landree Miethe was Warrenton’s lone first-team all-league player last season, but the three-sport star has graduated, along with libero Asia Lambert, an honorable mention all-league player.
“We lost the bulk of our offense, so this year’s theory is to spread it around,” coach Miethe said. “We’re not going to give it all to one person, so we’ll have to be crafty in our offensive mindset. Our big goal is to be scrappy defensively and hopefully not allow anyone to score a lot of easy points.”
The Warriors were always strong defensively under Smith and Hackwith, and should continue to be this year.
“Defensively we look pretty good, and the Blodgett girls (junior Morgan and sophomore Ellie) are both coming along nicely offensively.
“Claire Bussert (Jr.) was a setter in the past, but she will be a setter/hitter, and able to hit when she’s in the front row. Between Claire, Morgan and Ellie, we should make up the bulk of the offense we lost.”
Elsewhere, “Sagi Diego (Jr.) is looking strong in the front row, and Michelle Arney (Sr.) is consistent and solid.”
Rounding out the roster are seniors Leah Durham, Kiley Holdiman and Vanessa Talancon, juniors Fernanda Alvarez and Ruby Dyer, and sophomore Melia Kapua. Alvarez could miss the first few weeks of the season for medical reasons.
Coach: Staci Miethe, 1st year
2016: 10-10 (5-6 league)
Playoffs: Defeated Catlin Gabel, lost to Portland Christian in league playoffs.
All-League losses: Asia Lambert, Landree Miethe
All-League returners: None