With only a couple of experienced returnees from last year’s squad, Eagle volleyball coach Tom Powers will be counting on a talented group of freshman to gel into a team.

With only a couple of experienced returnees from last year’s squad, Eagle volleyball coach Tom Powers will be counting on a talented group of freshman to gel into a team.

With his recruits lacking size up front, he’ll rely on crisp passing and strong defense. Sophomores Ashley Cox and Marissa Macken, both defensive specialists, will anchor the defense. Cox had 199 digs last year and added 72 kills, fourth on the team.

Also returning is Hailey Conner who played with Cox at Yreka High School. The outside hitter had 109 kills in 2018 and 103 digs. Both also play basketball for Powers.

That’s a theme in Powers’ recruiting strategy, finding women who play both sports. Yreka’s Jazmin Ochoa is an outside hitter and hoopster who was on the Miner’s 2017 volleyball team with Cox and Conner.

Hitter Faith Tracy played 3 sports at Hoopa Valley High School, captaining the softball team. “A good all-round player,” noted Powers. She averaged 15 points a game playing basketball.

Cristal Perez played both volleyball and basketball for Butte Valley High, registering 243 kills her last season there. Also joining the team will be Kali Vongsena of Weed.

The setter is the quarterback of a volleyball team and Powers thinks he has a good one in Kelsey Willy of Henley High School in Klamath Falls who led her team into the Oregon 4A volleyball playoffs.

Powers said his team is “solid, with no big star.” The Eagles face stiff competition in the Golden Valley Conference from perennial powerhouses Butte and Feather River.

The Eagles have 9 home contests this year including the Siskiyous Classic on September 6, when they’ll play DeAnza and Cosumnes River.

They’ll scrimmage Southwestern College of Oregon at home on August 27 and begin their season with a match at Alameda on August 29. Their first home game will be against Rogue River Community College on September 2.