The Pacers believe they can play with the best in the TRL.
The Lakeridge volleyball team is ready for a new start in 2022.
The Pacers, after finishing third in the Three Rivers League in ‘21 under longtime coach Wendy Stammer, are determined to build on the foundation Stammer left under the leadership of new head coach Quinn Takashima. Takashima comes to Lakeridge after leading Yamhill-Carlton from 2016-21 and being named PAC West Coach of the Year three times.
“I think that we have a strong chance of doing very well in league play this year,” said Takashima, who previously served as head coach of McMinnville Volleyball Club from 2014-2017. “We have a big returning group who know the other teams in the league well.”
The 2022 Pacers will be led by a trio of returning all-Three Rivers League selections, including junior outside hitter Sydney Hamlin (5 feet, 7 inches and a 2021 first-team pick), senior middle blocker Sydney Littler (6-0 and an honorable mention selection) and senior outside hitter Niyah Coleman (5-9 and another honorable mention pick).
That group will be joined in the playing rotation by senior middle blocker Isabella Walsh (6-0), senior libero/defensive specialist Emily Jwayad (5-4), junior middle blocker/opposite Caroline Woodcock (5-10), senior opposite/setter Raime Reid (5-9), junior setter Sienna Wright (5-6) and senior setter Lila Strupp (5-8).
“We have some really big weapons in the front row with lots of volleyball experience,” Takashima said. “Walsh and Littler do a great job at holding down that key middle position, we have three returning setters who know how to run an efficient offense and already have a good connection with all their hitters, Emily Jwayad does a phenomenal job running the backcourt, and … Reid and Woodcock can hit from both (sides) very consistently and effectively as well.”
Also ready for varsity time are junior defensive specialist/libero Kiley McClain (5-6), junior defensive specialist/libero Taylor Selby (5-5) and junior defensive specialist/libero Addison Warhank (5-5).
“We have a big group of returning players this year (and) I believe that everyone on this team has great leadership qualities,” Takashima said. “However, we will really be looking at our six seniors to help propel this team to the top this season. They are a very tight-knit group and they have played together for years. Volleyball is about chemistry and I got lucky with this group that already knows each other so well.”
Looking ahead to the 2022 TRL season — Lakeridge hosts St. Mary’s in its opener at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 — Takashima believes her team will be able to compete with the league’s best.
“I already feel confident enough to have different lineups and know that whoever is on the court can absolutely perform to the highest level,” she said, citing West Linn and Oregon City as additional title contenders. “Every team in the league has really good volleyball players. Anyone can compete for the TRL title … (but) I do feel very good about our chances to be TRL champs this year. With the strong returning group and the work the girls did over summer, we are getting really excited for our first game.”
You can see the preview for the West Linn volleyball team here.
You can see the preview for the Lake Oswego volleyball team here.