Chemeketa Volleyball Building Off Foundation For 2022

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  Last year was very unique for the Chemeketa Community College Volleyball program.  They had nine girls, and had to move several of them like Carley Lederer (Stayton) and Kamden Fiddes (Idaho Falls, Idaho), and very little time to work with under then-first year Head Coach Doyle Tracy.  Tracy came in as the season was about to begin.

But through all the adversity, the Storm rose up and faced it.  Going 9-13 on the season and 6-10 in the NWAC South Region.  

Sweet Home’s Josie Nealson even led the NWAC with Digs Per Set with 5.88 as Chemeketa enters Year 2 under Tracy with six of those nine girls returning to the squad this Fall.  Nealson, Lederer, Fiddes, Jenna Glenzel (South Eugene),  Sofia Magana (McKay) and Sarah Cortez (McKay) all return, going into August 23’s scrimmages at Pacific University.

“We did great for only having nine girls.  Just getting to know each other being in that small group made it easy,” Lederer said, who had 140 kills as a Middle Blocker.

Chemeketa returns six from their 9-12 squad, nine player squad from 2021 as the squad adds a big freshman class going into the 2022 season (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Lederer and Fiddes will return to their previous positions of Outside Hitter and Opposite Hitter after both were moved to Middle last season as freshman as Tracy recruited and brought in some Middle Blockers as part of a big freshman class for Chemeketa.

“We finished last season much better than we expected to and this year I brought in some Middles so Carly gets to move back to the Outside and Kamden gets to go back to the right side where they really flourish,” Tracy said.  “(This year) is going to be huge because I expect us to start the season off even stronger than we did ending last year as far as the line-up that we got and the cochisen of the players because we got more time to get to know each other.

“Through July we’ve been doing Open Gyms and some Team Bonding stuff so people know each other a lot better.  I expect us to start out a lot stronger than we ended last year, so I expect us to do really well this year.”

Those six returning set the tone for the freshman coming in the features athletes like Bailey Pedersen (Salem Academy), MaKenna Ramsey (Scio), Brooklyn Worst (South Salem), Katie Fraley (Central), Maddy Mitzel (Stayton) and Jackie Arevalo (Corvallis) who all saw a lot of success at the High School or Club-level.  Bringing in a wealth of Volleyball IQ coming into their first year of College Sports and into a tough league that features the defending NWAC Champions in Linn-Benton from Albany.

“We all come from very competitive backgrounds and competitive schools, but we just bring it into college too and work hard.  We’re all very competitive, which is good.  We make each other better everyday,” Worst said.  “We have a lot of tough players and we’re all fighting right now to get that playing time and get on the court.  And no matter what, knowing our role no matter if we’re on or off the court, we’re going to support each other and just be positive all the time.”

The Storm’s first game of the year is September 7 against Lane before traveling to Albany to play the Roadrunners September 10.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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