Monday, September 19, 2011
Coming off a season in which the Eagles made the state playoffs for the first time since 1993, expectations have been raised this season.
The Eagles lost some height and some passing skills with the graduations of Melanie Siegrist and Katie Wood, but are figuring to make up for it with a big group of returning players.
The loss of Siegrist means that the Eagles are not exactly big in height, but the whole team spent the summer focusing on being better blockers on the front line.
"We're lacking height but we are quick and scrappy," said senior setter Tracy Mok.
The Eagles spent part of their summer attending a camp at Arizona State University, and they spent the bulk of the camp learning to be better blockers.
"Other than our blocking we are really strong," senior Courtney Harvey said.
To be fair to the Eagles, while they may not be tall, they still have several players who can crush the ball when given the chance.
Kaillie Duffy and Meagan Frazier are two of the more athletic hitters in the Columbia River Conference. Logan Bailey and Harvey are also competent at the net.
In the Columbia River Conference the Eagles also do not need to field a starting lineup of girls 5'10 and above to have a shot at the state playoffs.
The Eagles were in the running for a conference championship until the final game of the season when they lost to The Dalles.
The Eagles went on to win a play-in game and then lost to Churchill in the first round of the state playoffs.
This season they don't want to lose focus down the stretch, because the goal isn't simply to have a winning season, it's to make it the state finals tournament at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.
"We learned that you've got to focus on every game," said Bailey.
"We know we so could have beat The Dalles," Mok added.
Coach Scott Walker felt the team was a little starry-eyed with its state playoff appearance in Eugene last fall, and spent the offseason raising the expectation level.
The team had most of its members playing club volleyball throughout the year and the numbers at the sub-varsity level are way up.
"Our goal is Liberty High School," he said. "Anything less would be a disappointment."
Hermiston again figured to be the favorite to win the league, but HRV is not far behind the Bulldogs, and with improvement to the Pendleton and TDW squads, anyone can truly beat anyone else on any given night in CRC play.
That figures to happen plenty with each team playing 12 league games - four against each team.
"It can get really old," Walker said.
Which is why the league playoff spots may not be decided until the final week again, when teams are facing each other for the final time and must maintain their focus.
With all their experience playing together, and the lessons learned from last season, the Eagles don't think that will be a problem this go-around.
"We've been playing together since seventh grade," Harvey said. "We have a chemistry you can't replace."
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge