NASELLE, Wash. - New "old" coach Debbie Denny takes the reins as Naselle volleyball coach after a 15-year break from varsity coaching. She has 33 girls chomping at the bit to continue the winning tradition they have developed in the net game.
Denny, who last coached varsity volleyball for the Comettes from 1977 through 1987, has a core of seven solid players with excellent talent and varying degrees of varsity experience. The coach says, Naselle Volleyball glance2002 record: 12-5, Pacific B League runnerup
Key players lost: Jordan Varila, Randi Magnuson, Lucy Rubio, Tiffany Pauly, Dawn Herman, Abbie Smith
Key returnees: Marijane Mobley, Katie Klinger, Annie Herrold
Outlook:The Comettes should finish strong in league, qualify for District, but State may be a year away"Right now I am evaluating talent, teaching fundamentals, conditioning the girls, and striving to have the players make a commitment to success."
With only one senior, Marijane Mobley, on the roster Naselle will be young, but inspired by a veritable dynasty of Pacific B League success the past decade and a half, should finish strong by season's end.
"Annie Herrold at outside hitter, Katie Klinger as setter and Marijane at middle hitter, have provided us with leadership and steady play," Denny says. Toni Abbott is slated to play the new wild card or "libero" position of defensive specialist. The rule change allows one player to be in the game at all times during rallies, but she will not be allowed to serve with the other six girls, according to the coach.
Speaking of rallies and rule changes, the state has gone to rally scoring as well, whereby teams score points whether on defense or offense. Another change will be at the state tournament level where a 16-team bracket format will be used instead of pool play, and all matches will be best three-out-of-five games as in regular season play.
Kelli Revis (middle hitter), Brittany Vaughn (setter or outside hitter) and Amanda Badger (outside hitter) round out the Comette starting lineup. Denny predicts Valley, South Bend, and Mary M. Knight will be strong in league and Morton, PeEll and Mossyrock will all compete for the district title.
"Right now I'm encouraging the girls to give it their all and let the chips fall where they may," Denny says of her chances during postseason play. She will be assisted by veteran coach, Kim Eaton. Plans are in the works for adding a C-squad coach if numbers remain high.
Juniors on the roster include Miranda Agee, Jaimie Hines, Rebecca Johnson and Jamie Ahlstrom and senior Jacki Stanley. Sophomores turning out for Naselle volleyball include Chelsea Johnson, Missy Lorton, Holly Davis, Katherine Herrold, Megan Kato, Brittany Pellervo and Alycia Rodriguez.
A large contingent of freshmen includes Colette Beaulaurier, Jamie Bighill, Kristiina Chism, Sarah Dotson, Jenny Klinger, Caitlin McGuire, Reese Moore, Kelsi Nelson, Kellyn Pakenen, Whitney Queral, Sandra Rodriguez, Cheryl Steppe, Sunny Trent and Erin Saari.