First-year head coach Steve Bain is raising the standard for a King’s volleyball program he feels is infused with young talent.
The Knights missed out on the district playoffs last season, a year after advancing to state for the first time in two decades.
“We have an opportunity with the kids coming through the program to be better than that,” said Bain, who coached King’s JV team to a flawless 14-0 record in 2002.
“We need to establish more significant goals than we’ve had in the past. I won’t hesitate to encourage the girls to have high expectations for themselves.”
Eight players are gone from last season and the revamped varsity roster closely resembles last year’s JV lineup. Middle blocker Carissa Clark is the lone holdover from 2002 and one of seven juniors on King’s roster.
Three juniors have been sharing the setting duties for the Knights, who will have decent size on their front row. Clark and sophomore outside hitter Sara Mosiman are both 5-foot-10 and King’s other two middle blockers are 5-7 and 5-8.
“These kids are very competitive, but they haven’t played collectively at the varsity level,” Bain said. “They need to get on the court and play a few games.”
The Knights logged plenty of court time over the summer, practicing twice a week and taking part in team camp at Western Washington University. Going up against mostly Class 3A and 4A competition, King’s placed sixth out of 11 teams at camp.
King’s finished fourth in the Chinook League last year behind Life Christian, Bellevue Christian and Cascade Christian. Bain figures the same four teams will jostle for the league’s two playoff berths again this season.
Life Christian took third at last year’s Class 1A state championships and is favored to defend its Chinook League title despite the loss of key players to graduation.
Tacoma Baptist is relaunching its volleyball program this season after a one-year absence, boosting the league back to eight teams.
“I don’t expect us to be dominated by any team in this league,” Bain said. “I want it to be a goal for the program to compete for a league championship every year.”