Confident Knights take aim at state tourney berth | Volleyball

New coach brings energy, enthusiasm to a veteran, talented Kamiak lineup
By David Pan | Sep 05, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Grace Forster and Hannah Knutt attempt a block during a scrimmage.

The Kamiak volleyball team has set its sights high.

Under a new energetic head coach and with a number of returning starters, the Knights are hoping to secure their first 4A state tournament berth since 2015.

“We are very confident,” said senior Quinci Flowers. “We want to not only go to state, but see how far we can get at state.”

Flowers leads an offense that should be among the strongest in the Wesco 4A.

First-year coach Jason Davis noted that Kamiak has different options on offense.

“We have really three good outside hitters,” said Davis, who previously coached at Sultan High School and Edmonds Community College. “We have two very competitive middles. Quinci is a very, very talented middle. … So we have a lot of places to go.”

Senior Grace Forster joins Flowers, who has accepted a scholarship from St. Martin’s University in Lacey, in the middle. Seniors Hannah Knutt, junior Sarah Brachvogel and sophomore Marina Tukan provide the firepower from the outside.

Two sophomores – Adriana Kimpton and Camryn Woodworth – will be handling the setting duties. The two played on the junior varsity squad before being called up late in the season.

“They’re very experienced because they play a lot of club volleyball,” Davis said. “They’ve been to national tournaments where there’s been a lot at stake, a lot of things on the line. They’ve been able to come in and calm themselves. I’m sure they’ll have moments when they act like sophomores, but they’re both very talented. They take instruction well and they really try to apply the things that we’ve started so far.”

Kimpton and Woodworth have made quite an impression on their teammates.

“They’re insanely good,” Brachvogel said. “They have the skills. They’re going to do well in the next couple of years.”

The overall talent level on the team didn’t necessarily surprise Davis, who has lived in Mukilteo for more than 10 years and who also has coached club volleyball since 2003.

“We have a lot of experienced volleyball players that can really play volleyball,” Davis said. “So it’s allowed me to move a lot faster than I’ve had to in the past. I’ve been able to move us right into more competitive drills without having to teach as many of the fundamentals. We’re just fine-tuning some things.”

Davis stresses to the Knights that he wants them to go all out against their teammates in practice.

“We try to run anything that’s non-instructional as a competition,” Davis said. “We want them to compete. The idea is that competition is a skill like anything else.”

The goals are not only to improve the players’ skills but also to forge a bond with each other.

“He teaches us to be more competitive and to work together as a team,” Flowers said. “I see us challenging each other, pushing each other to the limit and just seeing great outcomes come out of it.”

Knutt likes the high intensity practices.

“We’re more focused,” she said. “I think it will definitely help us. I feel like we can get to state this year with the girls on the team, definitely.”

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