#4 Ranked Varsity Girls Volleyball Aims for a Conference and State Title


Jasmine McIntosh

The varsity volleyball team celebrates after winning a point vs. Wilsonville on Sept. 15.

Sofia Gonzalez, staff reporter

The girls varsity volleyball season officially started on Aug. 30, and the regular season ends Oct. 25 after 18 games, one jamboree, and three tournaments. So far the team has a record of 8-1, with their only loss coming from Wilsonville in a 1-3 set loss. 

This fast start to the season reflects their determination to achieve their goals, which includes winning state. “We definitely have a good chance at state this year,” senior Alana Keepes said. “It’s something we’ve been talking about and working towards since the first day of practice.”

Many players also have individual goals they hope to accomplish. “One of my individual goals is just having fun and enjoying my last season,” Keepes said. “And I think definitely working harder than I ever had, like it’s my last season.”

As a freshman Abbey Maulding is the youngest player on the varsity team and has had to learn how to deal with the pressure that comes with it. She plays setter, the position that sets up the attack and helps to control the game. Her goals are to build her confidence and, “I would just love to just improve setting just in every way,” she said.

Junior Emmalyn Dinh has a personal goal to “[bring] a lot of energy to the court,” she said.

Haily Heyvelt, a junior entering her third year on varsity, has many goals she hopes to accomplish including winning state with senior Olivia Maulidng. Heyvelt also added that “another goal of mine is always, always playing my best for every game,” she said.

Despite their successful start to this season, the team has still had to deal with numerous challenges.

One of the challenges they’ve faced is simply getting back into the groove. The team lost a number of key seniors from last year and now have to deal with new faces and adapting to each other’s playing style, “We kind of felt a little bit awkward with each other,” Heytvelt said. “Just because we didn’t really play with each other before.”

These challenges haven’t slowed the team down as they continue to perform well. However, winning isn’t the most important thing to volleyball head coach Anna Dillard, according to Heytvelt and Dinh. “She doesn’t necessarily care about if we win or not, it’s this factor of how much we actually tried and put in the effort,” Heytvelt said. 

“She wants us to play with a lot of confidence and also mainly supporting each other on the court,” Dinh said.

Teamwork and having support for one another is very important to the team, which can be seen through their phrase of the year, “I got you,” according to Maulding. “If you make a mistake then you just tell your teammate who maybe had a good pass or a good hit, hey, I’ll get you the next set,” she said.

The team has taken time not only during games to work on playing together but also outside of the gym. They recently had team bonding at Biscuits Cafe, which “was super fun,” Maulding said.

This year is the first year since 2020 with a normal schedule and no restrictions. This is a relief to many on the team and makes this season feel more enjoyable and exciting than last year. “I think having the support of our family members and our friends, [and] teammates, that really brings us together,” Dinh said. “It makes us want to play harder for each other.”