Warriors tower over rivals | Volleyball

Six seniors are back for experienced E-W squad
By David Pan | Sep 12, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Senior Sierra Lange is one of four players who are 5-feet-10 or taller on Edmonds-Woodway.

Height isn’t everything when it comes to volleyball, but it can’t hurt.

Edmonds-Woodway will test this thesis with a roster that includes four players who are 5-feet-10 or taller.

Warriors coach Nicole Bordeaux isn’t complaining. That’s for sure.

“We have more height than usual,” she said. “We’re pretty solid straight across the board.”

What’s more exciting for Bordeaux, who is entering her 10th year as head coach, is the experience and talent level of her squad.

Edmonds-Woodway returns six seniors – Sierra Lange (6-1 outside hitter), Annalise Eunson (6-2 middle blocker), Natalie Bergner (5-8 outside hitter), Grace Lewis (5-9 outside hitter), Lizzy Thurber (5-7 setter/defensive specialist) and Kaiona Apio (5-8 libero).

“They’ve all played together, almost all of them,” Bordeaux said. “It’s a good group of young women. They have a lot of fun together. They like to compete. They have all the tools.”

Edmonds-Woodway’s volleyball IQ is high.

“We have a lot of people who play year-round and are really committed to the sport,” Apio said. “It’s a lot of volleyball knowledge and a lot of hustle on this team.”

Though she’s only 5-7, junior Kaddy Kongira also likely will be play a role in the offense. The 3-sport athlete (basketball, track and field) enjoys playing defense in addition to being a potent hitter.

“She is one of the best female athletes that I’ve seen come through this school,” Bordeaux said. “It doesn’t matter what sports she’s involved in. She excels. She’s just a natural

The biggest change for the Warriors is at setter with junior Maggie McGinness and Thurber. McGinness was a setter on the junior varsity team, while Thurber was a hitter, who is switching positions.

“We lost two really good setters last year,” Lange said. “That was hard. I think the transition has been pretty good. Both of them have really good hands.

“The setter-hitter connection is really important. Sometimes that can take a while to develop or click. So it’s just lots of practice and getting to know the person on and off the court and what they can do.”

Bordeaux also likes the personality of this year’s team, which she describes as unique and quirky.

“They laugh with each other,” she said. “It’s just a positive group to coach. They can lighten up a bad day, which will help them get through the season when they get into those ruts.”

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