Lauren O'Brien garners all-tournament honors
CLACKAMAS - Things are looking up for Clackamas High School volleyball, if Clackamas athletes' play during the past club season is any indication.
The Cavaliers wrapped up their club season over the Memorial Day weekend with a trip to the Emerald City Classic. The tournament, which is held at the University of Washington, features most of the top club teams in the Northwest.
Competing in the top division, Clackamas' 14-and-under 'Black' club team, finished second only to Washington Volleyball Academy of Seattle out of over 60 top teams in their division.
Most of the players on the team will be freshmen at Clackamas High School this fall.
'This year the 14's Black team was very successful because the girls really enjoyed one another and came together as a cohesive team,' said Clackamas coach Jim Stultz. 'Each girl worked hard to improve her skills for the team.
'They understood that this was a team effort, win or loose. They continued to improve and impress. We had an amazing tournament at the Emerald Classic in Seattle. Because of such a strong team effort, we had one of our players [Lauren O'Brien] recognized for the all-tournament team. As a coach I couldn't have asked for a more rewarding year.'
Stultz added: 'We've gone to that tournament for 10 years and we've only had a couple other girls [Taylor Isaacs 2004 and Anna Chizum 2009] named to all-tournament teams. It's quite an honor.'
Another Clackamas volleyball player, 16-year-old Kiana Miller, also made some waves at this year's Emerald City tournament. Competing in the 16-and-under open division, she served 20 straight points.
'I've been [coaching club volleyball teams] for 23 years, and I don't remember anybody doing this at the club level before,' said Stultz. 'Serving 6 to 7 points in a row is good, 10 points is very good, and 20 is pretty amazing.'
Stultz said Miller serves a flat serve that just clears the net and travels without spin.
'It's a very difficult serve to pass, and Kiana is able to serve spots,' Stultz said. 'She's very accurate.'
Miller, who has been named her high school teams' MVP the past two seasons, will be a junior at Clackamas in the fall.
Another Clackamas Volleyball Club player, Kathryn Burgeson, received a special honor for her performance at the Classic. A member of the Clackamas 'Black' 18-and-under team, Burgeson was one of only three players - out of 3,000 - at the tournament to receive the Candis Carter Award, a special award made to liberos.
Burgeson, who played at Sam Barlow High School, will see action for Northwest Nazarene University this fall.
Among others playing with O'Brien on this year's 14's Black team were: Jensen and Reed Perrick, Marissa Roades, Kim Le, Taylor Ehl, Emiko Kahler, Marlie Norman, Kylee Krug, Keely Pearson and Anjola Oladapo.