The Daily Astorian/File Photo
The 3-1 finish was a lot better than the 0-8 start last year for the Jewell volleyball program.
The young Lady Blue Jays got off to a rough start, but by season’s end they had turned a corner.
They hope to keep the momentum flowing as they enter the 2017 campaign, with more experience and more players on the roster.
Head coach Jessica Miller had Jewell on the verge of the state playoffs in 2016, as the Jays finished fourth in the 1A Casco League standings, two games behind Perrydale.
Crosshill Christian ran away with the Casco League title a year ago, sweeping its way to a 10-0 league record and a fifth-place finish at state.
Willamette Valley Christian and Perrydale were the other state playoff qualifiers, with the Pirates clinching their spot to state with a league playoff victory over Jewell.
The Lady Jays
Jewell is still on the young side, with just two seniors on the preseason roster.
Niqui Blodgett — part-time softball pitcher at Warrenton — will be serving up serves instead of softballs as she enters her senior year at Jewell, along with Emma Guillen.
The junior class also has returning varsity experience, with Joe Armstrong and Lily Kaczenski, with first-year player Cheyenne Stapleton.
The remaining half of the roster includes sophomore Haley Norman and freshmen Ashlee Fraser, Aliyah Hart, Lillie Meier and McKenna Miller.
Coach: Jessica Miller
2016: 5-12 (4-6 Casco)
Playoffs: Lost league playoff to Perrydale
Seniors lost: Alyscia Littlepage
Seniors returning: Niqui Blodgett, Emma Guillen