By KEVIN BREIWICK
After its best season in 20 years, which included a division championship, the Edmonds Community College volleyball team expects exactly the same this year.
“I’m expecting to repeat,” Edmonds coach Bill Kellogg said. “We’ve filled the holes (left by departing players). The key for us is staying healthy.
“We picked up a couple of freshmen who are starting to step up.”
The team picked up Kelli Johnson (Marysville-Pilchuck High School), Samantha Baird (Lynnwood), Morgan Linnell (Lynnwood) and Stephanie Schmidt (Edmonds-Woodway H.S.), along with two other freshmen.
Returnees for the Tritons include outside hitters Stacy Gier, Fei Ye and Richele Stark, along with middle blockers Annie Beck, Crystal Daily and Roxanne Gilbert.
Edmonds finished 11-1 last year and placed seventh at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championships.
“We had a well-rounded team last year, that’s why we got so far,” Kellogg said. “It’s hard to go 12-0, but we have a good shot.”
Kellogg admits that Skagit Valley College and Whatcom Community College might argue that point. However, Kellogg and the team have their sights set on a top-five finish at the championships.
“We’ve got a shot at winning it, but we have four really good teams to beat,” he said – Chemeketa, Columbia Basin, Spokane and Mount Hood.
In order to reach that goal, Kellogg said EdCC must improve its defense.
“We’re a step slow compared to the other teams,” he said.
The Tritons got an opportunity to judge their capabilities at a 24-team tournament Sept. 6-9 at Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz. The Tritons went 4-7, but Kellogg said that record easily could have been 6-5.
“We were going three (games) with most of the teams,” he said.
In the first week of league play, the Tritons defeated Everett and Shoreline, both by 3-0 scores.
Fei Ye had 10 kills and four aces against Shoreline, Crystal Dailey had nine kills, and setter Roxanne Gilbert had 24 assists and three blocks.
Edmonds hosts Northern Division-foe Whatcom CC at 7 tonight.
Her first coaching experience outside of club play comes after playing for three different colleges: Centralia Community College, Seattle Pacific University and St. Martin’s College.
“It’s definitely a big change from playing,” Fagernes said. “I’ve learned a lot.”
Playing for three different college teams has given her a taste of how programs are run, and Fagernes is looking for her knowledge of the game to be an asset to Everett this year.
She inherits a young team with only three returnees this season, and seven freshmen.
“I didn’t have any expectations,” she said of her first season coaching. “(It’s) a rebuilding year as much as you can at a two-year college.”
Everett is led by middle blockers Kristen Keane (Stanwood High School) and Nicole Keeney, outside hitters Megan Bauthues (Nooksack Valley) and Christi Elza, along with Ceccelia Guadalupe (Arlington).
” (We need) a couple more games under our belt and I think we’re going to start doing really well,” Fagernes said.
She’s looking to place “somewhere in the middle” this season.
“I think we’re going to do OK.”
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