High School Sports

Lynden Lions volleyball preview

Coach: Julie Clift

Last year: 10-12 overall, 6-6 NWC (sixth place). ... Squeaked into the 2A state tournament after going 2-2 at the Class 2A Northwest District Tournament. ... Opened up with a loss and then back-to-back wins over Ridgefield and Fife before losing to Squalicum at state and finishing in eighth place.

Players to watch: Hannah Hommes (Jr., MB); Catyler Alex (Jr., L); Taryn Frey (Sr., MB); Kaitlyn Mark (Sr., S).

Outlook: Lynden’s bid for another state tournament took a major hit before the season even began, losing standout seniors Kat Webb to a torn ACL and Hannah Rothwell to a severe ankle injury. Both played an integral role in the Lions’ success last season, and now Clift is left looking for other girls to step up in their absence. “Well we had a rough offseason,” Clift said in a phone interview, “but the experience the returners had last year is going to benefit them in terms of confidence.” It has, to some extent, allowed some different faces to arise. Mark drew early praise from Clift at setter, gaining strong chemistry with her new group of hitters. “She’s really stepped up and become a great leader on the court,” Clift said, “quarterbacking in that position.” Alex, who will be the starting libero, also entered camp demonstrating all the strong qualities Clift expects from her defensive captain, lifting the confidence of a group that could surely use it.