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Tigard are looking to compete well in the strong TRL

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - SUPER SETTER -- Sophomore Hannah Miller returns at setter for the Tigard High School volleyball team this season. TIGARD — For the Tigard High School volleyball team, it’s simple.

Go out, compete, play your hardest and good things should happen.

That looks to be the attitude the Tigers are taking in the 2014 season, as they move to the Three Rivers League.

“We are going to be positive,” Tigard coach Robert Coelho said of the team’s outlook. “Our girls will show up every night and give our best.”

As they move to the Three Rivers League, the Tigers returns a strong group of players from last year’s squad that tied for third place in the Pacific Conference standings at 9-5 before scoring a thrilling, come-from-behind state playoff victory at West Salem.

Among those returnees is senior outside hitter Kaylie Boschma (5-foot-7), an honorable mention All-Pacific Conference pick last year, who will serve as one of the team’s two captains this year.

“She is a tremendous all-around athlete who knows how to compete,” Coelho said. “Her hustle and passion for competition is something we can all learn from. Our program will benefit from having her on our team.”

Another returnee, junior outside hitter Cassie Erickson (5-8), who also was an honorable mention all-conference pick last year, is the team’s other captain.

“She is a solid all-around volleyball player,” Coelho said. “Her passing has improved, and her attack is solid. Look for her to get many swings this year.”

Also returning for the Tigers is junior libero Jenna Horton (5-5), who was a first-team All-Pacific Conference selection last year.

“Jenna is a quiet leader,” Coelho said. “Her ability to focus and block out distractions is something that we will learn from. You won’t hear Jenna screaming, but you will see her passion and desire to compete.”

Senior middle hitter/opposite Ashley Holzgang (5-9) is yet another key returnee for the Tigers.

“Ashley’s ability to block and attack will help our team compete this year,” Coelho said. “Ashley is a great teammate. Her ability to stay positive and keep the team laughing will be a great asset during tough times.”

Other varsity returnees for the Tigers include sophomore setter Hannah Miller (5-6), senior setter/opposite Emilee Heyden (5-8) and senior middle hitter Sasha Hershey (5-10).

Among the newcomers to the Tigard varsity roster are sophomore defensive specialist Zoya Raja (5-5), junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Elisabeth White (5-6), sophomore setter Rileigh Hildalgo (5-4), junior defensive specialist Ashley Dawes (5-5) and senior middle hitter/opposite Rachel Coggins (5-10).

“Our team strength will be our chemistry,” Coelho said “We have a great group of young ladies who get along real well. This will help as the season progresses. If we can pass the ball, we will compete. We have young, strong setters who can deliver the ball. We have good hitters and we will get better as we become more comfortable with each other.”

And Tigard will be looking to put that all together as it enters the powerful Three Rivers League.

“This is a strong volleyball league, and, if we are going to compete, we are going to have to bring some intensity and focus into every match,” Coelho said.

The Tigers open their Three Rivers League schedule tonight (Thursday) when it hosts rival Tualatin in a match starting at 6:30 p.m. at Tigard High School.

On Saturday, Tigard will play at the Southridge Tournament, starting at 10 a.m.

The Tigers will be back home on Tuesday to face St. Mary’s Academy in a Three Rivers League match starting at 6:45 p.m.

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