Tuesday, July 25, 2017 This Week's Paper


// Experienced, dominant outside hitters lead the way

There was a Tacoma flavor in nearly every volleyball playoff bracket this fall, suggesting that there was not a shortage of local talent. And there wasn’t. We present our annual All-City Volleyball Team by highlighting 15 of the top players in the city limits, looking at some of their achievements this season. The group is led by four selections from the 4A state champion Bellarmine Prep Lions, who went an impressive 22-1 on their way to the title. Narrows League MVP Courtney Schwan backed up an incredible season with a dominant postseason, tallying 168 kills and 86 digs in the district and state meets to lead the squad. Senior teammate Katherine Joyce was another force up front, as the first-team all-league outside hitter had 34 kills at the state meet, while senior Kelsie May was a defensive mainstay all season for the Lions and had 38 digs in the four state matches. Setter Katy DeGroot rounds out the Lions’ honorees, as the senior helped the Lions tally 164 assists at the state meet and was key defensively and at the serving stripe.

Wilson made another run to the district playoffs thanks to a trio of dominant players, including junior Sojournah Channel, who tallied 197 kills on the year and added 327 digs. Teammate Tia Briggs earned a selection after totaling 121 kills and 29 blocks up front, while the Rams’ Alexis Slater had 112 kills and a team-high 35 blocks on the year. Mount Tahoma junior Aliyah Charector was a utility player of sorts this season for the Thunderbirds – totaling 147 assists, 37 blocks and 47 digs – in proving that she can contribute offensively and defensively. Lincoln senior Tita Ah-Hee was a consistent player for the Abes, averaging 3.9 kills and 3.4 digs per set this season while also getting 93 percent of her serves in play. Foss junior libero Kylie Thornton thrived on the defensive end, playing in all but one set this season and averaging 4.4 digs per set. Stadium, meanwhile, was led by outside hitter Tabi Webb, who contributed in every phase for the Tigers – totaling 71 aces and 21 blocks while averaging four kills and 4.7 digs per set. Annie Wright senior Lani Kalalau earned the Emerald City League MVP this season, leading the Gators to seventh at the 1A state tournament and putting up a team-high 245 kills and 241 digs this season, while adding 51 aces. Life Christian also made noise in reaching the 1A state meet for the second straight year, as the Eagles were led by the impressive play of junior Johnnise Moore and senior Grace Bouffiou. Tacoma Baptist made a run to the 2B district playoffs this year, as junior Natalie Snyder tallied 153 kills and 45 digs on the season to lead the way.

Tita Ah-Hee – Senior – Outside Hitter – Lincoln

Grace Bouffiou – Senior – Outside Hitter – Life Christian

Tia Briggs – Senior – Middle Blocker – Wilson

Sojournah Channel – Junior – Outside Hitter – Wilson

Aliyah Charector – Junior – Setter – Mount Tahoma

Katy DeGroot – Senior – Setter – Bellarmine Prep

Katherine Joyce – Senior – Outside Hitter – Bellarmine Prep

Lani Kalalau – Senior – Outside Hitter – Annie Wright

Kelsie May – Senior – Libero – Bellarmine Prep

Johnnise Moore – Junior – Outside Hitter – Life Christian

Courtney Schwan – Junior – Outside Hitter – Bellarmine Prep

Alexis Slater – Senior – Outside Hitter – Wilson

Natalie Snyder – Junior – Outside Hitter – Tacoma Baptist

Kylie Thornton – Junior – Libero – Foss

Tabi Webb – Senior – Outside Hitter – Stadium