By Gerry Steele
HALFWAY - Second-year Pine-Eagle volleyball coach Jenny Gulick welcomed a dozen players out for this year's squad.
The Spartans will field two seniors, seven juniors and three freshmen.
"We don't have a lot of size but the girls are pretty scrappy, and have good skills so we hope to be competitive," Gulick said.
The Spartan coach said she is happy to have senior Jamie Butler back this season. Butler sat out last year with a knee injury.
"She will resume the setter role," Gulick said.
"With so many juniors it is hard to get tham all the varsity playing time that I would like so I will most likely be moving most of them back and forth from JV to varsity just so they will get as much playing time as possible."
Sierra Saunders is the other senior on the team.
The juniors are Celisa Digges, Aries Hood, Sarah Cooley, Lacey Walker, Jamie Pallan, Hayli Kuta and Kylie Davis, and freshmen Hannah Tanaka, Felicity Denig and Savanna Hood.
Gulick said she hopes team unity will be a strength.
"We started our season with a day camp at Eastern Oregon University and then a camp trip down to the river for a night," she said.
"The EOU camp is an awesome way to refresh on their basics and pick up on some good drills. They do a great job.
"I came up with the camping idea as I thought it was just as important that the girls connect with each other as well as working on their skills," Gulick said. "I think it paid off and I hope to make it an annual event. It's a great way to start off the season and close out the summer."