Prep volleyball preview: Building on last season’s success

With a quick glance at their 2016 season record, some may write off last year’s Mountlake Terrace Hawks volleyball squad as yet another in a line of many that has underachieved. But don’t let their 8-11 record fool you – the team almost made school history.

Last season’s Hawks came within one game of doing what no other Terrace volleyball squad has ever done: qualify for a season-ending state tournament.

The 2017 edition of the Terrace Hawks volleyball team begins their pursuit of history on Tuesday, Sept. 5, when they host the Squalicum Storm in the season opener for both squads. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.

A lot of credit for the Hawks’ 2016 success goes to first-year Coach Rene Noeun, who turned around a program that went winless in 2015 and led them to the postseason. Now Noeun is looking to build upon the achievements of last season, but also manage the expectations of a young squad.

“Yes, last year was fantastic; some people may expect a lot out of you, I expect a lot out of you, and you probably expect a lot out of yourself,” Noeun said of what her message to her team has been during preseason practices. “But at the same time don’t put unnecessary pressure (on yourselves).”

Noeun recognizes the challenges ahead for her 2017 squad; the team lost five players to graduation last spring, leaving plenty of holes to fill in the lineup.

The Hawks do return three key seniors to the team: Sophie Parsons (setter) will likely be involved in every point and will be an important element to any team success this season; Candace Disney (outside hitter) will be a team leader both on and off the court; and at 6-1, Zoe Goodmansen has the height at middle blocker that Hawk opponents will need to contend with.

While Noeun isn’t ready to predict how far this year’s team can go, she does believe the squad has potential – and she’s preaching that to them.

“Coaches always want to believe in the potential of their team,” she explained. “But the thing is I just want to make sure these girls believe in it.”

Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2017 Volleyball
Coach: Rene Noeun (second year)
2016 record: 4-8 in 2A/3A Wesco League play, 8-11 overall; finished fourth in the 2016 postseason District 1/2 2A Volleyball Tournament

First 2017 match: versus Squalicum, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 7:00 p.m. at Mountlake Terrace High School

Key players: Sophie Parsons (senior setter), Candace Disney (senior outside hitter), Zoe Goodmansen (senior middle blocker), Mckenzie Davis (junior outside hitter)

2017 schedule

–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski

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