Jacks volleyball squad eyes state playoffs in new season
Last season, the Quincy High School volleyball squad earned a berth in the district playoff for the first time under fourth-year head coach Dean Pratt. Starting the new season on Sept. 10 against Ellensburg at home, the Jacks have their eyes set on the next step: reaching state.
Quincy finished last season with a 6-7 record, excluding tournament play in Wenatchee and at home. The Jacks won the tournament they hosted in late September. That tournament victory and reaching the district playoff were among the biggest accomplishments last season, according to Pratt.
In their only district playoff game, rival Ephrata defeated the Jacks, taking three of the five matches.
“Last season we got further than expected. But also, I think we could have gone further,” said junior outside hitter Mackenzie Kleyn.
The Jacks return largely the same squad as last year, said Pratt. The team includes four senior girls, including setter Stacia Sarty and outside hitter Ashlyn Rosenberger; both are also team captains.
The goal this season is to finish in the top three, said Pratt, then go on to the state tournament. The road to a top three finish will include tests against top teams Ellensburg and Selah, according to Pratt. The last two years, Othello, East Valley Yakima and the Jacks have fought for the last few post-season spots, said Pratt.
“I’m hoping that we’ve climbed above that this year with our experience,” added Pratt.
The Jacks earned a huge victory over Selah at home last season, arguably their biggest win of the season. Selah is a perennial state team, according to Pratt, and the players are taking confidence from that victory as well.
It “gives us confidence we can do it again this year and maybe even beat better teams like Ellensburg and Prosser, too,” said junior middle hitter Kelly Mills.
Last year’s schedule was mostly road games for the Jacks, but this season’s schedule is much more favorable for Quincy. The team starts the season with seven of the first eight games at home, in the new high school, which includes the tournament Quincy hosts on Sept. 28.
The latter part of the season closes with five out of the last eight games on the road.
With teams jockeying for positions later in the season, earning those victories early on will be vital to a post-season berth.
“The last two years Ephrata has beat us in five both times,” said Kleyn. “The fact that we’re right there with each other, I think it’s going to push us even more to win that important game.”
By Miles King, firstname.lastname@example.org