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Athletic Wolves are ready to roll


Tualatin boasts some strong returnees as well as a new coach

TUALATIN — The Tualatin High School volleyball team seems to have a lot going for it heading into the 2013 season.

The Timberwolves boast a strong group of athletic returnees. They also have some promising newcomers on the roster. And, to top it all off, they have an enthusiastic new head coach.

With all of that in mind, Tualatin is taking high hopes into the upcoming campaign.

“It is clear to me that I have 12 girls who are as passionate about volleyball as I am,” said first-year Tualatin coach Monica Anderson, “and I am really looking forward to continuing our improvements up until the very last serve of the season.”

The Wolves return some key players from last year’s squad that finished in third place in the Pacific Conference standings with a 9-5 record.

Among those returnees is sophomore outside hitter Haley Howarth, who was an honorable mention all-league pick last year as a freshman.

“Haley Howarth, who will play outside, is able to hit whatever is put up into the air,” Anderson said. “She is a smart and intense player who will be a force in the front and the back row.”by: DAN BROOD - SUPER SOPHOMORE -- Haley Howarth (7), who earned honorable mention all-league accolades last year as a freshman, returns at an outside hitter spot for the Timberwolves this season.

Sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist Sara Fanger, who was an honorable mention all-league pick as a defensive specialist as a freshman, also is back.

“She can play so many different positions,” Anderson said. “She has great form, great hops, and a great reach. Sara is a player who really understands the game and plays every aspect well.”

Senior middle blocker Jasmine Miller, another honorable mention all-league pick from a year ago, returns to provide power at the net.

“Jasmine Miller will be a leader in the front row,” Anderson said. “She is always questioning how to get better and is also a super athlete who will play basketball in college next year.”

Other returnees for Tualatin include junior opposite Rachel Coggins, junior opposite Rachel Kahn and sophomore outside hitter/opposite Shanna Giorvas.

The Wolves have another returnee of sorts in senior libero Beth Fanger.

Fanger, a second-team all-league defensive specialist as a sophomore, took her junior year off from playing volleyball. But Fanger, who is also a standout softball player at Tualatin, is back on the court for her senior season.

“Beth Fanger will be a leader in the back row,” Anderson said. “And she is a super athlete.”

Other newcomers to the Timberwolves’ varsity roster include sophomore setter Morgan McMasters, who is a transfer from Sherwood, junior defensive specialist Alexis Fenn, senior defensive specialist Kylie Olson, junior outside hitter Tegan Brach and junior middle blocker Katie Savage.

“I think one of the team’s strengths is our athletic ability,” Anderson said. “We have strong girls who are competitive, quick and willing to give 100 percent for their team. I have liked the way the girls have made changes during our short time together.”

Anderson, who lives in Tualatin, has a coaching background that spans about 15 years. She has coached volleyball at the freshman and junior varsity levels at Lakeridge High School.

She also has coached at all levels of club volleyball in addition to running volleyball camps for beginning players for about a decade.

Anderson is also a teacher, who has taught kindergarten, fourth, fifth and sixth grades for 10 years.

“For me coaching volleyball is the perfect combination of both of my passions — volleyball and teaching,” she said. “The fact that I am coaching the sport I love in the community I love is just icing on the cake.”

The Timberwolves will start their season today (Thursday) when they play at the Pacific Conference jamboree, which starts at 4 p.m. at Tigard High School.

Tualatin will open its Pacific Conference schedule on Tuesday, when it travels to Forest Grove for a 6:45 p.m. match.