By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– As they wrapped up Tuesday night’s practice, the returnee-heavy, senior-heavy Scio Volleyball will be looking to carry 2016’s success into 2017.
When Kate Trimble arrived in 2016 from McNary to take over the Head Coaching job for the Lady Loggers, Scio were hovering around five-wins each of the two years prior; but within her first year, the Loggers were State playoff-bound for the first-time since 2010 and went 12-11 overall and 8-4 in the PacWest Conference in 2016.
And, similar to most teams in the Conference outside of Colton and Chemawa, Scio returns the bulk of their team this season in what should be expected to be another tough PacWest conference with the Lady Loggers building off their momentum from this past year.
“It was good, i think they needed the extra hardcore push and I didn’t take it easy on them just because I came from 6A to 3A. I said, ‘we did 20 reps there, I’m not going to give you 10 because your in 3A. Your the same age as those girls, you have the ability to do it,” said Trimble on getting the girls to buy-in to her as the Celtics Varsity squad Trimble’s final year in McNary’s system went 20-7 in 2015 and 13-3 in the Greater Valley Conference.
“It’s really exciting because we were stoked to get into playoffs last year, but this year since we graduated two, one of them was a returner, then we got another girl to replace one of those main positions. So it’s basically everyone back and another girl that’s as decent as us,” described Makenna Cooper on the amount of returners they have this season.
Cooper, who’s entering her second-year on the Varsity circuit and is one of eight seniors on this years roster along with four-year Varsity players in Katelyn Gray (Mid-Blocker) and softball teammate McKenzie Reger (Outside Hitter), admits that this year they are still learning but there’s still the belief that they belong on the court alongside the likes of the Salem Academy’s and Blanchet Catholics out there.
“This year, it’s the same because we’re still learning, but that does not mean we’re not capable of being with everyone else,” starts Cooper. “Like this year, for me and the rest of my seniors, I think we are just feeling like it’s our last hoorah. We’re fearless, relentless this year, we have nothing to hold back, this is our last go.”221
As they have another practice before Thursday morning’s jamboree at Western Mennonite, Trimble has seen the improvement within the squad even from the end of last year to the first couple weeks of the 2017 season in terms of picking up of where they left off and learning at a faster clip as this senior-heavy group prepares for this season.
“That can be bittersweet but right now we’re super excited because drills that we were struggling with at the end of last season even, we’re completing in the first attempt this season,” said Trimble. “Because now they’re seniors and they’ve done it last year, they know they need to do and they’re super excited to be out here for their senior year.”
And though Thursday’s scrimmages are of a best-of-three instead of five as they will see come August 29 in Mill City against Santiam in their first non-tournament game of the year, Cooper points to it being helpful in terms of preparing for league games through the repetitions.
Trimble too points to as well having those reps come against different teams and different looks from those teams to help prepare for the Dayton tournament on August 26 before next Tuesday’s game versus the Wolverines by seeing where they are at entering practice for those games.
As they prepare for another slate of games, there’s no doubt that the senior class will lead as those before them have and just continue the ever-growing legacy of Scio Logger Girls Sports.
“I want the underclassman to remember our class as the team that made their mark and never gave up and kept working. So far, espically in our girls sports, that’s what we’ve done and I just want to be known for, as a person, for my good attitude and always working hard just trying to get better,” said Cooper, who was celebrating like a Mad-Man during the six-on-six scrimmage whenever her team scored a point to end practice Tuesday night.
“But as a class for making our mark.”