Centralia College Bolsters Volleyball Roster With Local Recruiting Class
By Matt Baide
The Centralia College volleyball team is gearing up for the 2017 season with a lot of familiar faces of the local volleyball scene.
Centralia coach Susan Gordon has 10 recruits this season, including seven local athletes to try and help the Trailblazers compete in the NWAC West Region.
Former Adna players Kendall Camoza and Daisy Bower join the team next season. Camoza was a varsity player all four years for the Pirates, was voted to the second team all-league her junior and senior seasons and was the team captain and MVP her senior year.
“Kendall is a good strong player, I coached her in club when she was a junior,” Gordon said. “I just really like the way she plays. She can hit the ball wherever she wants to, has a good set, and she’s another kid that’s not going to bring problem, super good kid.”
Bower is a two year varsity player, and someone that Gordon expects to be a calming presence on the team.
“With Daisy, she’s a super team oriented person. We struggle sometimes with building the unity of the team because you only have them for two years and then they’re gone. I think she’s someone who can really help develop that,” Gordon said.
Kary Sathre and Taviana Keahey join the Blazers from Centralia. Sathre was a first team All-League pick her junior and senior seasons, and was the team captain and MVP her senior season.
“We are super excited to get her. She is a great player, she has a wicked arm,” Gordon said.
Keahey was an All-League honorable mention her senior year, and winner of the team’s Most Improved and Most Inspirational awards.
“We needed another middle and Taviana is a middle. I think she’s going to bring some solid play in her middle area,” Gordon said. “She has worked really hard, just her work ethic and she is very coachable.”
Napavine’s Jordan Pruett joins the Trailblazers after helping lead the Tigers to a fourth-place finish in the State 2B tournament, the best finish in school history.
“I think it helps if you have a group of girls come in that are used to winning,” Gordon said. “When you expect to win all the time, that’s what Jordan is going to bring to us. She comes from a program that you win. Their body language just watching them, every time they enter the gym, it’s ‘We’re just going to win.’”
Elizabeth Berger comes to CC from Tenino, and Gordon said that Berger is a diamond in the rough and will be a contributor for the Trailblazers this season.
“She can jump, she’s 5-10, she just hasn’t really played a lot,” Gordon said. “She’s got a great arm swing, she’s very raw and she doesn’t have a lot of bad habit to break. She’s kind of coming in with a clean slate and she’s going to be a shocker to a lot of people.”
Also joining the Centralia volleyball team is Autumn Durand. A former Onalaska graduate and recent Southern Oregon University graduate, Durand played basketball for SOU for the last four seasons and has decided to continue playing collegiate sports at CC. Gordon coached Durand in high school for three seasons and knows what she brings to the team.
The local talent joining the team this season will be welcomed by Nicolle Duryea and Hayden Blaser, both former local volleyball players, to help the freshmen adjust to the life of a collegiate student-athlete. Gordon said that she tries to keep the local talent around as much as possible, and she thinks she was able to keep the best players in this senior class in Lewis County to play for the Trailblazers.
“The biggest thing that I can say about everyone that is local is they are really good kids,” Gordon said. “When you get them all together, there’s not the drama, you can tell they’re a group of kids that want something and are going to go for it.”
Centralia went 2-12 in West Region play and 5-25 overall last season. Gordon hopes the pool of local talent that has joined the team will push them to success in a tough division.
“I think we have pretty close to one of the top regions. This group of girls right here I think has a very good chance of competing and placing at the tournament,” Gordon said. “There’s a lot of talent there, and the way they get along is going to be the big thing for them.”
The team will have offseason workouts until the team’s official season begins on Aug. 9, when the team will have two-a-days until their first game, a scrimmage against Pacific University on Aug. 23. The team’s first tournament is Aug. 25-26 in Eugene.
With the local talent built up on this team heading into the season, Gordon believes her team can be standing in the end at the NWAC Championships in Tacoma in November.
“My goal is to be in the top two, I do not see any reason why this team will not be in the top two. They definitely should be one or two,” Gordon said.