Archbishop Murphy senior Olivia Riojas takes a shot at a Dec. 26 practice session in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)                                Archbishop Murphy’s Olivia Riojas practices on Dec. 26 in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Archbishop Murphy senior Olivia Riojas takes a shot at a Dec. 26 practice session in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald) Archbishop Murphy’s Olivia Riojas practices on Dec. 26 in Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Five things to know about Archbishop Murphy’s Olivia Riojas

Olivia Riojas’ style of play on the basketball court can be summed up in one word:

Intense.

“Ever since I started playing basketball in the first grade, I liked the aggressiveness of it,” she said. “I like being able to get into peoples’ heads. That’s my thing.”

Riojas, a senior guard for the Archbishop Murphy girls team, earned all-Cascade Conference first-team honors last season by becoming a true two-way player.

“She’s huge on attacking the rim,” said Wildcats coach Cassie Snyder. “She’s got a quick first step. She’s also a really good defender. She’s a hard-nosed kid. She works hard and never complains.”

Here are five things to know about Riojas:

1. She relishes her role as the Wildcats’ defensive stopper. “Our defense generates our offense, and I’m known for getting our defense started,” she said. “That’s the (main) way I contribute to the team; it’s my obligation. I get pumped up to see the (opponent’s) best player not score as much or get open looks.”

2. She was a member of the Triple Threat AAU team for the past five years. “We traveled every summer — we went to Las Vegas, California, Chicago. We played in big tournaments,” she said. “It was nice to get that kind of exposure because the (style of play) is much more intense than high school. (My Triple Threat and Archbishop Murphy teammate) Emily Rodabaugh has been a big inspiration for me. We’ve played together since the fifth grade. She’s the only one in practice who pushes me to do better things.”

3. She favors her English classes in school. “I always liked reading and writing more than math or science,” she said. “I’m taking a class now called Utopias and Dystopias, (where) we read books and write about them. It’s challenging and really fun. We broke down Shakespeare plays — writing about different scenes, finding different meanings, comparing and contrasting, that kind of stuff.”

4. She will continue her basketball career at Benedictine University in Mesa, Ariz. “They scouted me at an AAU tournament in Arizona and had expressed the most interest in me. When I went on my official visit, they made me feel at home,” Riojas said. “Right now I’d like to major in education, although I’m sure that will change. I like little kids. I have a (7-year-old) brother, and I’m always around him and his friends.”

5. Water skiing and traveling are two of her favorite hobbies. Living in Lake Stevens near the lake itself, Riojas and her family “are out there every single day in the summer,” she said. “We have competitions. Two skiers will go out at one time and see who can stay up the longest, or see who can push the other (skier) down. We also take family vacations. My favorite trip is always Mexico. We have a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, and going down there is super fun. We’ve been every year since I was in the second grade.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacob Eason runs a drill during practice at the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Injuries could open door for Eason to start for Colts

The former Lake Stevens star is taking reps with the first team with Carson Wentz out indefinitely.

Lake Steven's Trayce Hanks makes a catch for a touchdown during the Cougars Championship Passing Tournament at Lakewood High School on Saturday, July 31, 2021 in Arlington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
GALLERY: Lakewood hosts annual 7-on-7 football tournament

Some of the top schools in the region came out for the event, which included the popular lineman challenge.

Hadyn Fluery, a defenseman from the Anaheim Ducks, walks off stage after being introduced as a new player with the Seattle Kraken NHL hockey team, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, during the Kraken's expansion draft event in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Patterson: Can Kraken match success of Golden Knights? Maybe

Seattle’s roster may be as talented as the initial Vegas roster, but lacks additional future assets.

Xander Schauffele, of the United States, holds his gold medal in the men's golf at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Kawagoe, Japan. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
U.S. golfer claims gold, as bronze goes to playoff holes

Bellevue golfer C.T. Pan, who represented Chinese Taipei, won the seven-way playoff.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marlowe homers twice, AquaSox defeat Emeralds

Everett snaps a brief two-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over Eugene.

Runners pass the Olympic rings as they compete during the first round of the women’s 5,000-meter at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Friday in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Markovc finishes 20th in Olympic women’s 5,000 meters

The Glacier Peak High School graduate placed ninth in her heat and did not advance to Monday’s final.

Jackson's Ryan Contreras is welcomed by teammate Dominic Hellman after Contreras' home run Friday afternoon at Funko Field at Memorial Stadium in Everett on April 23, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Prep notebook: Jackson baseball star picked for All-American game

Also, 2 local high school wrestlers place at the USA Wrestling nationals in Fargo, North Dakota.

Silvertips’ Michal Gut fights Tri-City's Sasha Mutala for the puck during the game against the Tr-City Americans on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Import forward Gut to return to Silvertips for 21-22 season

The 2002-born center was not with the team last season due to virus-related travel restrictions.

Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert celebrates during the second half of a men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament semifinal game against UCLA, Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Edmonds native Kispert drafted by Wizards at No. 15 overall

Former Gonzaga star Corey Kispert was selected by the Washington Wizards in Thursday’s NBA draft.

Most Read