A strong senior class at Knappa High School begins its final year of athletics this fall, with hopes of a successful season for the Logger volleyball program.
The Loggers have come a long way over the past few years, and hope to continue to build on a winning tradition in 2005.
"We've got a lot of seniors," said Knappa coach Bob Harn, in his second year. "Next year will be the tough one. So we're shooting to have a real good season this year, and help them go out with some winning seasons, both here and in basketball. I think they'll have a good chance in everything this year."
The LeagueA traditionally strong league should be a little tighter this year, with the graduation of several key athletes from Portland Christian.
On the other hand, "Corbett will do well, because they've got everybody back," Harn said. "And Portland Christian will still have height."
The 2004 season was a year of streaks for the Loggers, who opened with four straight league wins followed by four straight losses, before closing the regular season with victories over Portland Lutheran and Portland Adventist.
Knappa dropped a five-game match to Portland Lutheran in a league playoff at Clatskanie.
The OutlookThe Loggers should be able to at least equal last year's league mark (6-4), with a chance of advancing further into the post-season.
"We're still in the learning process," Harn said. "When Terry Hardy was here, he got them going, and now we're trying to take them one step further.
"I think we'll ask a little more. Looking at all the teams out there, we should be able to compete with anybody. We did last year. And we finished at 60 percent (in league), and I think we can do better this year."
The PlayersKnappa graduated just one player (Katie Ho), with six athletes returning for their senior season.
The group includes all-league players Nadra Evans, Meagan Harn and Kasha Klauser, along with Ali Gerttula, Kristie Owings and Krista Varner.
Juniors on the roster include Rachele Schuyler, with Jo Barendse and Christy Van Gundy stepping up to varsity.
"Nadra and Kristie Owings are the outside hitters, and they're getting better and better," Harn said. "Ali and Rachele will be the middles; and we'll be swinging some people, too, just to give them some experience if we can."
The Loggers took part in Seaside's team camp in July, then had professional volleyball player Wendy Stammer at Knappa for a clinic.
"We wanted to show the girls some new things and instill some confidence in them," Harn said. "And we're trying to get some more 3A schools on the schedule, so we'll play Seaside (the game was Thursday) and then go to their tournament later in the year. We're going to try to push the girls a little more than we have."