Tough competition at the nets - (Spokesman Review)
September 11, 2008

Tough competition at the net

GSL home of the best volleyball teams in the state

Justine Simpson's participation at several national development camps this summer should help lead the veteran East Valley Knights to a post-season state 3A tournament berth. The Spokesman-Review (J. BART RAYNIAK The Spokesman-Review )
Steve Christilaw
Correspondent
September 11, 2008
Here's the thing you have to remember about the Greater Spokane League and the sport of volleyball: Being good isn't always good enough.The GSL is to volleyball what Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics were to the NBA. Not only has Mead High School won the past five consecutive state championships, they've beaten Lewis and Clark in the championship match in each of the past two finals. Last year three of the top five teams in the state were from the GSL (Shadle Park placed fifth) and the only reason more league teams weren't in the hunt for hardware was because it is allowed just three state berths.When the Panthers return Alexis Olegard – a 6-foot-5, All-State first team player who, just a junior, already has committed to play collegiate volleyball at the University of Southern California – you can expect them to once again vie for a state title. And when the Tigers return an All-State second-teamer, Oceana Bush, you can figure they'll be in that same hunt once again.

 

 
"It's insane how good you have to be to be competitive in this league," Central Valley coach Chad Coupland said. "You simply cannot afford an off night in this league."I like to think that, if we were in any other Class 4A league in the state, that we'd be one of those teams in the hunt to win a state title."Tough as the GSL is, however, Coupland is happy to be part of it all."When I was hired at CV, my job was to make the program competitive and I think we've done that," he said. "I honestly cannot see myself coaching anywhere else."The GSL does shift slightly this season. The Class 3A division of the league expands as both Shadle Park and Rogers drop down to battle Mt. Spokane, North Central and East Valley. Because of that, the road to state is severely restricted. Just four Class 4A teams reach the district tournament, where the challenge will be to unseat perennial powers Mead or Lewis and Clark for a state berth: only two GSL teams can advance to regionals to vie for state berths.That means several teams capable of earning hardware at the state tournament will be left watching from the sidelines."We don't have a 6-4, 6-5 player in the middle the way Mead does," Coupland said. "We have a bunch of mid-sized players who just scrap and dig and occasionally take a ball off their head."The key for us is to have fun. When these girls are out there having fun and making plays, they can be very good. When they aren't having fun, then we're in trouble. Right now, they're enjoying playing together."East Valley KnightsLast year's GSL coach of the year, Jim Dorr, took a relaxed approach to summer volleyball this year."I think that you can sometimes play too much volleyball," he explained. "We took some time off this summer and I think everyone has come into the start of practice fresh and ready to go. They may be a little rusty, but we're taking care of that."

 

 
You can do that when you have a veteran squad coming back after a competitive season that saw them finish just one game away from reaching the state Class 3A tournament. The Knights lose just two seniors, one of them a starter, from a year ago.Starting middle blockers Amanda Hiebert and Brie Schau, both 5-10, return for their senior season, as do starting outside hitters Justine Simpson (5-8) and Allie Riggin (5-10), and setter Kelsey Kurtz.Also back is the team's top sub, senior Desi Rainey, who fills in all over the court.Simpson, a second-team All-GSL pick a year ago, spent part of her summer at the Olympic Development camp in Lake Placid, N.Y."The great thing about this group is that they all get along so well," Dorr said. "In fact, they sometimes get so involved in finding things that they can do together as a team that I have to remind them that we do still play volleyball."They care about one another. Amanda Hiebert came to me the other day and said 'You know, Justine is thinking about playing at Western Washington University. Maybe we should play in their tournament so they can see her.' That's the kind of unselfish attitude these girls bring."

Blog Posts


University of Great Falls 2009-2010 Season Outlook
January 23, 2010

Justine Simpson (Spokane, WA/East Valley High School) has impressed so far in training camp with her excellent ball control and steady serve receive. She will earn court time this season by...

#1 going into districts and now #1 going into regionals!
November 8, 2008

We finished as the top 3A team in our league and went into districts as a #1 seed.  We beat #4 North Central and then had to wait to play the winner of the #2 Shadle Park and #3...

Greater Spokane League Final Results
November 8, 2008
» Greater Spokane League
LeagueOverall
TeamWLWL
4A-Lewis and Clark100121
4A-Mead91111
3A-East Valley73114
3A-Shadle Park7394
3A-Mt. Spokane6484
4A-Central Valley5568
4A-Gonzaga Prep4679
4A-University46...
Challenging game tonight!
October 2, 2008

We play in the Greater Spokane League with other 3A schools and 4A schools.  We are 3A and are ranked #1 in WA state for the third week now.  So far our league...

#1 ranked 3A team dealt first loss by #3 ranked 4A team-WA state
September 27, 2008
We lost....it sucks.  We put up a good fight the first set but slowly started falling apart twards the end of the 2nd set.  It got worse in the 3rd set.  Last year we lost to Lewis...
UNDEFEATED as of 9/24/08 this season
September 24, 2008
We are off to a great start!

Unfortuantely, one of our starting middles sprained her ankle two days ago and we are stressing.  We were able to win in 3 last night without her.  The team we...
Prep Roundup - (Spokesman Review)
September 20, 2008

Prep roundup

EV tops Shadle

 The East Valley Knights are pushing for 3A supremacy in the Greater Spokane League volleyball race.

 Allie Riggin led all players with 18...

GSL Preview Volleyball - (Spokesman Review)
September 19, 2008

GSL Preview Volleyball

The new-look league is a combination of six 4A teams and five 3A teams after Shadle Park and Rogers dropped down a classification. As a result, the stakes will change come...

Ranked No 1 in WA State 3A Volleyball - (The Seattle Times)
September 16, 2008
The Seattle Times
High School Sports

Low-graphic news index


Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association rankings


Class 4A — 1,...

East Valley Cleans Up in Auburn - (Spokesman Review)
September 16, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

East Valley cleans up in Auburn

Dorr and Knights volleyball both fare well

East Valley volleyball coach Jim Dorr got his...

Volleyball - (The Seattle Times)
September 15, 2008

Volleyball | Auburn Mountainview losses

Seattle Times staff reporter

AUBURN — East Valley of Spokane spoiled Auburn Mountainview's bid to win its own Puget Sound Adidas...

It's Sweep Success for East Valley (The Tacoma News Tribune)
September 15, 2008

It’s sweep success for East Valley

TYLER HEMSTREET; For The News Tribune

Published: September 14th, 2008 12:30 AM

Auburn Mountainview, the top-ranked team in the Class 3A State Volleyball...

9-11-08 game stats (Spokesman Review)
September 12, 2008

» match results


East Valley def. North Central
25-22, 25-23, 25-16.

»Statistics

Kills -- Sillivan (NC) 7. Riggin (EV) 15.
Assists -- Latwesen (NC) 19. Kurtz (EV) 25.
Aces -- Kurtz (EV) 6.
Digs...

Tough competition at the nets - (Spokesman Review)
September 11, 2008

Tough competition at the net

GSL home of the best volleyball teams in the state

Justine Simpson's participation at several national development camps this summer should help lead the veteran East ...
Hard work pays off - (Spokesman Review)
September 2, 2008
Hard work pays off
EV senior attended USA Volleyball development camp
Justine Simpson, third from left, is pictured with, friends from the Women's Junior Development A1 volleyball camp in Lake...