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Vikings, Greyhounds also score all-league honors

Forest Grove and Gaston combine for five all-conference volleyball selections

Though 2015 was in many ways a rebuilding year for the Gaston volleyball team, the Greyhounds still had their standouts.

The Hounds put two players from a rather youthful outfit onto the Northwest League all-star team. Already one of the team’s most experienced players as just a sophomore, middle blocker Charity Hall was a first team pick, and fellow sophomore Taylor Bassel received an honorable mention nod.

Hall was an 82 percent hitter this season and also served at 81 percent. She especially came on offensively over the second half of the season. In the first half, she averagd 8.3 kills per match; in the second half, she nearly doubled that production with 16.2 kills per match. She also averaged eight digs and 2.6 aces per contest.

Bassel hit at 78 percent for the year and also served at an 87 percent clip. She notched 12 digs, six kills and an ace per match.

Those two youngsters led Gaston — which counted no seniors and just one junior on the roster — to an 8-10 overall mark and a 5-6 record in Northwest League play.

The Hounds took fifth in the conference and made the league playoffs — not a bad feat for a team that said goodbye this past spring to most of its key players from the 2014 state playoff team.

In the league playoffs, Gaston upset fourth-place Knappa before losing to third-place Vernonia to end the season.

Forest Grove Vikings

The Forest Grove volleyball team is moving up.

Last year, the Vikings landed two players on the Greater Valley Conference all-star team and both were honorable mention selections. This year, three Forest Grove players made the cut, including a second-teamer.

Junior outside hitter Abby Boozer led the Vikings as a second team selection, while fellow juniors Annika Rusaw, a defensive specialist, and Ashlie Collins, a setter/opposite, received honorable mention.

Those three led a young Forest Grove squad to a 5-16 overall record and 3-13 league mark. The team started to hit its stride over the final couple weeks of the season, winning two matches and pushing state playoff qualifier South Salem in a four-set loss to round out the season.

West Salem junior Paige Whipple was named league player of the year. Her coach, Katie Herber, picked up coach of the year honors.