Kamiak hoping for another strong postseason run | Volleyball

Retooled Knights are coming together well
By David Pan | Sep 11, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Whitney Taylor and Sarah Brachvogel go up for a block during practice at Kamiak High School.

The 2019 Kamiak volleyball team has a tough act to follow.

The Knights are coming off one of their most successful seasons, which culminated in the team’s first appearance at the 4A tournament in four years.

But six players who played major roles in the run to state graduated and the Knights bring back only three seniors from a year ago.

“It’s a whole different team,” second-year coach Jason Davis said. “When you lose that many, you start from scratch, even though we’ve got some great pieces in place from last year – some wonderful kids, some great athletes.

“You kind of have to reset everything and just look at what you have so far. I think we’re in pretty good shape.”

Two players who are back and will figure prominently in the offense are senior Sarah Brachvogel and junior Marina Tukan. Both setters – junior Camryn Woodworth and junior Adriana Kimpton – also return.

“After that it’s going to be a little different,” Davis said.

The returning experience at setter definitely should help the offense.

“Setters in volleyball are like the quarterbacks,” Davis said. “It’s nice to have them both back. … Both are looking really great. Our goal is to have a two-setter system as much as we can. We just need to have the hitters that can hit around it. We want both on the court.”

The plan is to take a good look at the team in the first month of the season and see what’s working and what’s not, Davis added.

The program saw an influx of freshmen and the Knights are fielding three teams each with 14 players. Depth should be an asset for Kamiak.

Senior co-captain Brachvogel was wondering how the new players were going to fit in with the team.

“We were at the King’s tournament a couple months back. At first I was a little nervous,” she said.

Two weeks of practices have alleviated whatever concerns Brachvogel had and she sees a strong bond developing among the players.

“The pace has been picking up,” she said. “Balls are getting picked up. We’re becoming much more scrappy, much more aggressive because I think we’ve become more comfortable with each other. I think that’s just going to increase as the year goes on. I think so far the underclassmen have done a really, really great job of keeping up with the fast pace.”

Senior co-captain Kara Toves also likes what she’s seen from the newcomers to varsity and she is optimistic about the Knights’ prospects in 2019.

“It was scary to lose a lot of seniors, but I think this year having such a young team and seeing them so ready to play and so ready to improve themselves, it seems really exciting,” Toves said. “Hopefully, we can make it back to state.”

Having a year’s experience with Davis and experiencing the success the team did with him also is an advantage.

“We know he got us to state last year,” senior co-captain Whitney Taylor said. “We’re excited to be working with somebody that has that talent that can bring us there. Everybody has faith in him for our success this year.”

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