Confidence key for CHS volleyball

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DUVALL - The volleyball courts are heating up for the Cedarcrest Red Wolves.

"We play in a league where there are a lot of kids who play club," third-year Coach Christine Hillestad said. "I have a lot of great individual players, but that only takes you so far if you are not working as a team."

Hillestad said her girls have the right ingredients for a successful year.

"A lot of kids focus only on volleyball - not multiple sports," Hillestad said. "The strength of them playing club is going to help us a lot. This is my third year, so they kind of know my system now and we're going be strong."

The team's first and foremost goal is to make it back to the state meet, a place they ventured to in 1999, when they placed eighth.

"Kara [Lawson] was a sophomore on that squad, and I think that they have an idea of how they think they might do," Hillestad said.

"We think its attainable," team captain Maile Marshall said. "We have a lot of potential."

Megan Townsend is the starting setter but will rotate frequently with Stephanie Hern. Christa Swanlund will cover the middle, Liz Singh will start as defensive specialist, and Marshall, who is a hitter and the team's strongest passer, will help cover the back row.

They're also looking forward to playing Mercer Island this year. The Islanders currently have a 29-game winning streak and haven't lost since October 1998.

"They lost a lot of their senior power and we mesh together well this year," Marshall said of Mercer Island.

"We could tell even on the first day of practice that we work together well. We have some excellent outside hitters and we have a chance to beat them."

Last year the Red Wolves made it to district, but lost all three games - one of them to Mercer Island.

"We're still a young team. I only have three seniors. I think they just need to play with confidence," Hillestad said.

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