Knights loaded with talent | Volleyball

By David Pan | Sep 12, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Senior Alli Hansen returns for her fourth season on the King’s varsity squad.

The King’s volleyball team appears primed to make another run at a state title.

Coming off a third-place finish last year and the program’s third state championship two years ago, the Knights have all the elements in place for success.

“This is one of the most talented groups I’ve ever had,” King’s coach Bart Foley said. “We have balanced talent across the board. All of these kids can play. The challenge is figuring out how to best fit all the pieces of the puzzle. A lot of kids can play different positions.”

The graduation of league MVP Dominique Kirton and co-captain Baily McCutchen leaves a significant leadership void.

“Leadership is going to be spread out among a number of players,” Foley said.

The offense is in good hands with returning senior Ava Mason, a first-team, all-league standout. She is joined by sophomore Hannah Hawkins.

Senior Alli Hansen also is back after missing a good portion of 2018 due to a back injury. Hansen returned late in the regular season and played in the state tournament.

This is Hansen’s fourth year on varsity, a rarity in the Knights’ program. She is only the fourth player in the last 15 years to spend her entire high school career on the varsity squad.

“She’s healthy,” Foley said. “If we can stay healthy and figure out the lineup this could be a special season.”

Other strong offensive players included junior Noelle Alberda, another first-team, all-league standout, and junior Annika Ruud. Junior Emily Evanson provides defensive support at libero.

The newcomers bring a lot to varsity. Foley noted that five juniors were on JV last season and most would have been on varsity in other programs.

“We have a few that are ready to step up and step in,” Foley said.

Both Mason and Hawkins are strong hitters and blockers, so King’s might play both of them on the court at the same time.

“It just opens up all these different possibilities,” Foley said.

King’s dropped only one set out of six at last week’s Lakeside Jamboree.

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