Coach: Kim Grycel
Last year: Went 19-2 overall and 11-1 in the Northwest Conference (second). ... Only two losses came to Sehome in regular season and Cedar Park Christian in Class 1A District Tournament. ... Went 4-0 at state, three wins were straight-set victories including the championship game. ... Won first state title in school history.
Players to watch: Kara Bajema (OH, Sr.), Hannah Rusnak (OH, Jr.)
Outlook: The returning Class 1A state champions may seem like a much younger team than in previous years, and that’s because they are. But make no mistake, the strength of this team is with its upperclassmen. Reigning All-Whatcom County Player of the Year Kara Bajema is the most powerful hitter in the conference and should lead the team in kills again. She’ll join junior Hannah Rusnak, who was a state champion in track and is using her speed and jumping ability to really improve her hitting, coach Kim Grycel said in an email. That combination will be near impossible to defend. Passing them the ball will be senior setter Carli Tjoelker, while Emmalee Bailey takes over libero duties from graduated Emily Veening, who left big shoes to fill. Also taking on a lead role this year will be middle Riley VanHulzen, who played a big part on last year’s state champion squad after Morgan VanKooten went down with a knee injury. She’s only a sophomore and probably the future star of the Lyncs.
Chelan (at Cascade)
at Yakima Valley Sundome Tourney
at Mount Baker*
at Reach the Peak (at Glacier Peak)
at Nooksack Valley*