Horizon is looking for success in the West Valley League

TUALATIN — Last year, the Horizon Christian High School volleyball team put a young squad out on the court — really young.

The Hawks had just one senior on the team, which went 1-13 in West Valley League play.

But, this season, with the added year of experience, Horizon Christian is anxiously looking forward to the upcoming campaign.

“I’ve very excited to have the returning girls with the addition of a couple girls to really help us be competitive in a tough league,” Horizon Christian coach Rachel Gowen said. “The girls continue to mature in their volleyball skills and gain more experience. The team has set many goals for this season, and we plan to keep our focus as one team and having one purpose — glorify God through volleyball.”

Horizon Christian will still sport a young team this season, as the squad has just one senior, returning outside hitter Ashley Wyatt, who will be a team leader.

The Hawks do boast a strong group of juniors, including four returnees.

Among that group is outside hitter Lainey Houston.

“She’s a strong hitter and aggressive server,” Gowen said.

Junior Sarah Loomis, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker, also returns.

“She’s our go-to for offense,” Gowen said. “She’s a strong force at the net.”

Junior Grace Phillips returns at setter.

“She’s and incredible athlete and has improved since last year,” Gowen said.

The Hawks also have a returnee in the back row in junior Lydia Beagle.

“She’s a solid defensive player,” Gowen said. “She has a strong presence in the back court.”

Horizon Christian also returns sophomore outside hitter Olivia Jones and sophomore middle blocker Catherine Lindsay, who saw action at both the varsity and junior varsity level last year.

Among the newcomers to the team is sophomore setter Kendall Call.

“She’s an experienced player, quick on offense and defense, with solid skills,” Gowen said.

Sophomore outside hitter/middle blocker Ashley Spears is also new to the team.

“She’s tall and quick and an experienced player,” Gowen said. “She’s a great addition to the team.”

The Hawks will open their season today (Thursday) when they play at Salem Academy in a non-league match starting at 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, Horizon Christian will face Faith Bible School in a match starting at 7 p.m. at Forest Hills Lutheran.

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