Monroe’s Sarah Day (8), hits through the block of through West Valley Yakima’s Payton Jones (7) and Alyssa Smith (11), during a 4A state tournament semifinal on Nov. 17, 2018 at the Yakima Valley SunDome. (TJ Mullinax/For The Herald)

Monroe’s Sarah Day (8), hits through the block of through West Valley Yakima’s Payton Jones (7) and Alyssa Smith (11), during a 4A state tournament semifinal on Nov. 17, 2018 at the Yakima Valley SunDome. (TJ Mullinax/For The Herald)

Prep volleyball preview: 5 storylines to watch

Monroe hopes to keep its momentum under new head coach Mati Bishop.

Here’s five storylines to watch during the 2019 high school volleyball season:

Monroe resets with new coach

The Bearcats are coming off a fourth-place finish at the Class 4A state tournament, which marked the program’s best finish at state and earned the team its first state trophy since 2007. Monroe caught fire after a monumental 3-2 victory over Lake Stevens last season, which ended the Vikings’ 42-game winning streak against Wesco 4A opponents, and didn’t drop a set during the 4A Wes-King Bi-District Tournament on its way to a title.

Mati Bishop, who runs Uprising Beach Volleyball in Mukilteo, is taking over the program in 2019 in place of April Munoz, and Bishop said the team is looking to pick up where it left off last season.

Seniors Avery Davidson, Sarah Day and Brooke Barnes — a Utah Valley University commit — return to lead an experienced roster that features 10 seniors.

Snohomish eyes third straight state trophy

The Panthers have just two seniors on their 2019 roster, but that hasn’t tempered expectations for the defending Wesco 3A/2A champions.

Snohomish returns a trio of All-Wesco 3A/2A players — senior libero Lauren Riske, junior middle blocker MacKenzie Whyte and sophomore outside hitter Jasett Smith — and junior Sarah Campfield, a three-year starter, adds to what Panthers coach Alex Tarin said is a “young but very experienced” team.

A four-game stretch from Oct. 8-22 — with games against Arlington, Oak Harbor and Stanwood — will be a solid barometer for Snohomish’s postseason aspirations.

Who steps up in Wesco 3A/2A?

This season’s path to a conference championship in Wesco 3A/2A appears to go through three teams — Arlington, Oak Harbor and Snohomish. The trio has combined to go 7-0 while dropping only one set this season and the teams are three of the league’s top-four finishers from last year.

But another trio of teams — Lynnwood, Meadowdale and Everett — appear to be knocking on the door after posting nine wins each in league play last season. And don’t count out Stanwood. The Spartans are young and may have graduated the most talent from last season, including The Herald’s 2019 Volleyball Player of the Year, Devon Martinka, but Stanwood welcomes back a pair of seniors returning from injuries to help lead a squad that features 10 sophomores.

Can Lake Stevens be toppled in Wesco 4A?

The Vikings enter the season as three-time defending league champions and have lost only one league game over that span.

Lake Stevens is tasked with replacing five seniors from last year’s team that placed seventh at state and have only one senior on this year’s squad. But the Vikings have a strong and experienced junior class led by first-team all-league outside hitter Samaya Morin.

Monroe and Kamiak figure to give the Vikings a push after making runs to the state tournament last season.

Expect more King’s dominance

It’s hard to find a 1A program with a tradition as rich as the Knights’.

King’s has won three state titles since 2008 and placed at the state tournament in 15 of the past 16 years, including a third-place finish last season.

The Knights appear primed to continue their impressive run and are off to a 3-0 start with non-conference victories over a 3A opponent in Lakeside and two 4A schools (Skyline, North Creek). Senior setter Ava Mason and junior middle blocker/outside hitter Noelle Alberda give the Knights a pair of first-team all-league returners.

Coupeville and South Whidbey were the only conference teams to earn a set victory over King’s in 2018, winning one apiece.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens' Kolton Matson halts his scramble with Graham Kapowsin's Jalen Davenport closing during the 4A State Championship game Saturday evening at Mt.Tahoma High School in Tacoma on December 4, 2021. The Viking lost 44-7. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Patterson: Future is bright for Lake Stevens despite title game loss

The Vikings suffered a humbling loss, but many players will be back from their talented squad.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett, upper right, is lifted by wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) after scoring a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game at Lumen Field, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seahawks outlast 49ers to end 3-game losing streak

Russell Wilson had his best start since returning from injury, and the defense made a late goal-line stand.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett, left, makes a catch for a touchdown ahead of San Francisco 49ers cornerback Josh Norman, right, during the second half of an NFL football game at Lumen Field, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Grading the Seattle Seahawks’ 30-23 win over the San Francisco 49ers

Seattle’s defense and special teams shined as it finally got back in the win column.

Lake Stevens' TK Perkins makes his way to the sideline during the 4A State Championship game Saturday evening at Mt.Tahoma High School in Tacoma on December 4, 2021. The Viking lost 44-7. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Lake Stevens falls to Graham-Kapowsin in 4A state title game

The Murren-less Vikings run into a “buzzsaw” and finish as state runners-up after a 44-7 loss to G-K.

Kevin Clark / The Herald ***Silvertips Special Sections***** Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015 Sports: Silvertips Special Section Shot on: 09/06/15
Silvertips blasted by Portland in 7-1 loss

The Winterhawks scored the game’s first six goals in a rout of Everett.

Winter prep sports roundup.
Prep results for Saturday, Dec. 4

Prep results for Saturday, Dec. 4: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Jackson High senior Dominic Hellman, a University of Oregon commit, batted a .558 this season with five home runs in 13 games. Shot on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Local athletes who have signed to play sports in college

The early signing period for all NCAA sports except Division I and II football opened Nov. 10.

Lake Stevens' Micah Avery, left-right, Ashten Hendrickson, Grant Lynch, Dylan Slezak and Bryce Slezak are the starting offensive linemen for Lake Stevens state championship run. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Unsung O-line plays key role in Lake Stevens’ run to title game

Smaller and less experienced than usual, the Vikings’ offensive line has still found ways to excel.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Late goals sink Silvertips in loss to Giants

Everett falls to Vancouver 6-5 for just its second regulation loss of the season.

Most Read