Sequim’s Kendall Hastings, right, looks for a block in an Olympic League match against Klahowya in February. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Kendall Hastings, right, looks for a block in an Olympic League match against Klahowya in February. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Fall sports preview: Balanced SHS volleyball squad set for season

Just a few months removed from a season that limited games and postseason on the high school level and wiped out middle school play, Sequim High volleyball coach Jennie Webber Heilman said she wasn’t sure what to expect this fall.

“We were worried about numbers,” she said last week. “(But) they kept showing up. Where were they this summer when we were having open gym?”

Rather than facing a roster shortage like several other SHS fall programs, Wolves’ volleyball saw 35 girls turn out for spots on varsity, junior varsity and C-teams.

The 2020-21 Wolves ran up a 10-3 mark and, despite losing a number of key players to graduation, return a number of players with ample varsity experience.

“We have a good core of seven who played (varsity),” Webber Heilman said. “But we’re trying to figure out some positions.”

Back is junior Kendall Hastings, who led the team in kills (163) and blocks (29) on the way to earning first team all-Olympic League honors.

Also back is do-it-all sophomore Jolene Vaara, who last season played middle outside hitter, opposite side and setter — everything except libero (defensive specialist).

“For a young player, that’s pretty amazing,” Webber Heilman said.

Vaara had 45 kills and eight blocks as a freshman.

Also back are seniors Allie Gale, Jordan Hegtvedt and Mallory Morey. Gale had a team-high 107 digs and fourth-best 25 aces while Hegtvedt added 85 digs and a 94.5 percent serve percentage, third-best on the squad. Morey chipped in 13 assists (second on the team), 22 kills and six blocks.

Webber Heilman said she’s still looking for the best spot for Gale, whom the SHS coach notes “she’s pretty competitive; she wants to win.”

Sequim has some tough servers in the lineup, Webber Heilman noted, in particular Gale, Morey and Hastings.

The Wolves look to replace a number of key players lost to graduation, notably four-year starter Kalli Wiker and Amanda Weller, both first team all-league selections, along with all-league second teamers Jessica Asselin, McKenna Hastings and Jayla Julmist.

To that end, Webber Heilman said, Sequim will look to returners Lyndsay Swanson and Kelsey Bergeson , and newcomers Jordan Kidd and Nichole Tiemeyer.

“We will probably will have some swing players (from JV to varsity),” Webber Heilman said.

As for the rest of the program — and the multitude of incoming new players — the Wolves have JV coach Rachel Oden and former player Brittany Gale to oversee the C-team.

“These middle school kids have not played at all because of COVID except for three weeks in the spring,” Webber Heilman said.

Sequim’s only losses last season were to Kingston (twice) and North Kitsap, and culminated with a win over 3A Central Kitsap.

“That was like a state tournament for them,” Webber Heilman said. “It’s nice to have some of those girls here (returning from that team).”

A difference in this season’s schedule are tournaments: The Wolves travel to Longview for the Mark Morris tournament on Sept. 25 and to Olympia for the Capital City Tournament on Oct. 9.

“It’s critical, just to play against tougher teams,” Webber Heilman said of the tourneys.

But because the team is unable to stay overnight, that means early-morning bus trips, the Sequim coach said.

What remains from last season is a mask requirement for players, Webber Heilman noted.

“We’re jut going to do the best we can.”

Fall sports preview: SHS volleyball

Head coach: Jennie Webber Heilman (29th year)

Assistants: Rachel Oden, Brittany Gale

2020-21 record: 10-3 in Olympic League/overall, 1-0 in postseason

Key returning athletes: Kendall Hastings (jr.), Jolene Vaara (so.), Jordan Hegtvedt (sr.), Allie Gale (sr.), Lindsay Swanson (jr.), Mallory Morey (sr.), Kelsi Bergeson (sr.)

Newcomers: Jordan Kidd (jr.), Nichole Tiemeyer (jr.)

2021 SHS volleyball schedule

Date Opponent Time

Sept. 2 Jamboree 4 p.m.

Sept. 6 at West Seattle 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 9 Port Angeles 6:15 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Olympic 6:15 p.m.

Sept. 16 North Kitsap 6:15 p.m.

Sept. 18 at Blaine 3 p.m.

Sept. 21 Bainbridge 6:15 p.m.

Sept. 23 at Bremerton 6:15 p.m.

Sept. 25 at Mark Morris Tournament, Longview TBA

Sept. 28 Kingston 6:15 p.m.

Sept. 30 at North Mason 6:15 p.m.

Oct. 2 JV/C-team tourney TBA

Oct. 5 at Port Angeles 6:15 p.m.

Oct. 7 Olympic 6:15 p.m.

Oct. 9 at Capital City Tournament, Olympia TBA

Oct. 12 at North Kitsap 7 p.m.

Oct. 14 at Bainbridge 6:15 p.m.

Oct. 19 Bremerton 6:15 p.m.

Oct. 21 at Kingston 7 p.m.

Oct. 26 North Mason 6:15 p.m.

Sequim High coach Jennie Webber Heilman enters her 29th season looking to improve upon the Wolves’ 10-3 record in 2020-21, with seven returning players this fall. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim High coach Jennie Webber Heilman enters her 29th season looking to improve upon the Wolves’ 10-3 record in 2020-21, with seven returning players this fall. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

More in Sports

tsr
College soccer: Peninsula men cycle past Tacoma in NWAC Championship rematch

An acrobatic early goal from sophomore Nicolas Hernandez and a stoppage- time… Continue reading

tsr
Boys tennis: Wolves net wins in road, home openers

Despite playing without a full outfit of doubles teams, Sequim’s boys tennis… Continue reading

Cross country: Pyeatt third, Ellefson fourth at Capital Invite

Shifting gears in the 2021 schedule, Sequim’s Wolves turned to a familiar… Continue reading

tsr
Girls soccer: Riders ride free kicks to rivalry win

By her own admission, Teagan Clark’s skill and touch on free kick… Continue reading

tsr
Girls swimming: Wolves open season against powerhouse Spartans

Sequim’s Wolves may have seen their toughest foe to open the season.… Continue reading

tsr
Volleyball: Wolves top Roughriders in 4 games

Sequim and Port Angeles battled back and forth in a rivalry volleyball… Continue reading

Community scoreboard — Sept. 15, 2021

Golf The Cedars at Dungeness • Men’s Club, 7 Cedars Cup Summer… Continue reading

tsr
Sprint boats return to Port Angeles for second try at ESP

Racing runs from 10 a.m. to late afternoon

tsr
UPDATE: Sequim football home opener canceled

Low on experienced varsity players and dealing with COVID-19 quarantine issues, Sequim… Continue reading

Most Read