By Lori Goodwin, Writer/Social Media Manager
PUYALLUP – They said at the outset that the 2013 season promised to be one of “firsts” for Pierce Women’s Volleyball. Athletic Director Duncan Stevenson and Head Coach Doug Carlson weren’t kidding. Following the departure of last year’s all-sophomore squad, Carlson had to completely re-load the roster and hope for the best. Mid-season that’s what he got: this year’s all-freshman team, coming straight from high school, won the Treasure Valley Community College Crossover Tournament in Oregon. “We won three straight matches, and won the championship,” said Carlson. “First time we’ve won a championship since the late 90s. That was a big deal.”
The team has continued to plow through the season and right toward the league championship games as serious contenders. Carlson said they started the season with “changing line-ups, and the team played really well.” By mid-season they had qualified for the Crossover Tournament in Oregon, going into it with a 6-6 record. They made an eight-hour road trip to get there and on the first day of the tournament came in second in their pool. The next day they took the championship.
Proud of the entire team, Carlson noted in particular the “great leadership from setter Brittany Smith, as well as outside hitter Mackenzie Valdez and right side Brianna Glass,” saying the three young women “play a great all-around game and always hustle. They work hard.”
As if Stevenson and Carlson didn’t have enough on their minds with the league championships, they’re also setting up and preparing for the 2A Girls State Volleyball Championships being held this weekend at HEC Fort Steilacoom. Pierce College will be hosting upwards of 3,000 high school students, coaches, and parents. But foremost on Carlson’s mind is tomorrow night’s game.
The Raiders are now in the number three spot after losing last night’s game to the Tacoma Titans. Carlson said the first and second matches at TCC weren’t that great, “but the third and fourth were real good — we had great momentum going into the fifth but needed to play well from the start, and didn’t.”
In order to continue to the championships the Raiders will have to defeat first-place defenders, the Highline Thunderbirds. The competition will begin tomorrow night (Fri., 11/15) at 7:00 p.m. at Highline Community College in Des Moines ( maps.highline.edu/). The Raiders would love your support, and hope you’ll be there to cheer them on!