Tiger seniors are shining on this year’s Dayville/Monument volleyball team with Treila Osborne in as head coach.
“Their intensity brings everyone up,” Osborne said of the four senior starters, Denali Twehues, Aubrey Bowlus, Miranda Cook and Brooklyn Near. “Their school leadership and good camaraderie amongst the girls gives the whole gym that vibe of ‘we’re here to improve and work hard and be committed.’”
Osborne said Near, an outside hitter, is “one of our best servers” and Cook is a “big middle” — front row hitter and middle blocker.
Twehues is key for the team as setter.
“She’s a great all-around player,” the coach said.
Bowlus is also “a force to be reckoned with” as an outside hitter and “is all business on the court,” Osborne said.
“She is so strong and powerful,” the coach continued. “She brings intensity and fierceness to our team. She along with Denali get our team fired up. I know our seniors want us to place well in our league for the district tourney.”
Both Twehues and Bowlus received All-League honorable mention volleyball awards last season for their positions.
While the seniors are the “core of the team,” the sophomores have really improved in their strength and techniques, coach Osborne said.
The two sophomore starters are Aubreianna Osborne, a middle hitter and blocker, and Katelyn Barker, a middle and setter.
The team of 13 also includes three freshmen, another sophomore and three juniors.
Dayville/Monument lost two strong starters to graduation last year, Kyla Emerson, an All-League honorable mention awardee, and Faythe Schafer, All-League Setter of the Year.
Coach Osborne, taking over where Kristi Emerson left off as coach last season, previously coached the varsity team from 2002 to 2004. Osborne practiced with the Eastern Oregon University volleyball team in her college days, and she’s coached the Dayville/Monument junior varsity team for the past 15 years, and continues as their coach. She teaches at Monument School.
Assistant coach this year is Steven Schmidt, a new teacher at Dayville School. He’s played volleyball since 1998, which included college volleyball, and this is his first time coaching.
Dayville/Monument will face eight opponents in the High Desert League, including: Jordan Valley, Adrian, Crane, Prairie City, Long Creek/Ukiah, Harper, Huntington and Burnt River.
Jordan Valley, Adrian and Crane advanced to the state tournament last year where St. Paul defeated North Powder for the title.
Osborne said she expects Jordan Valley to again be one of the toughest teams in the league.
“Our goal is to improve when we play them and not be intimidated by them,” she said. “We’re going to bring our own game to the gym and our own aura. I think we’ll surprise a lot of teams this year.”
The team plans to take the season one week at a time, she said, and try to play smarter with good game strategy.
The 1A Tigers had a good start to the season, beating 2A Enterprise 2-1 to a match at the Aug. 31 Grant Union Tournament, also losing 2-0 to 2A Grant Union.
Dayville/Monument lost a home match in Monument Thursday 3-2 to 1A Condon and competed at the Prairie City Tournament on Saturday, beating 1A North Lake 2-0 and losing to 5A Redmond in two.
Osborne said she enjoys the extra playing time tournaments give her team members.
“We learn from each game and each rally and adjust and continue doing what we’re successful at and keep our momentum,” she said.
She said overall the Tigers are a strong, coachable team with positive attitudes, which inspires her as their coach.
Good mental health leads to good physical health, the coach said, adding, “We stress loyalty and teamwork and positivity.”
“Maybe we’ll miss a couple passes, but we’ll rally and regroup — and confidence, that’s what we’re really working on,” she said.
Bowlus and Twehues have been teammates for several years and classmates since kindergarten.
“I hope to improve from last year,” Bowlus said. “I’m excited to play with the people I’ve grown up with.”
Both girls said they’re glad to have new players on the team and a coach with a lot of experience.
Twehues said everyone is improving.
“I think my strong points are hitting, and we’ve gotten our passing down — it’s definitely one of our strong suits,” she said.
Near and Cook said they both love volleyball and their team.
“I think one of the best things about our team is that every single one of us gives 100 percent effort in everything we do,” Near said.
Dayville/Monument faced Grant Union junior varsity at Humbolt Elementary in Canyon City on Tuesday, past press time. The Tigers travel for a match against South Wasco County at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Maupin.
Dayville/Monument volleyball schedule
Sept. 13: @ South Wasco County, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 14: vs. Ione / Arlington in Monument, 2 p.m.
Sept. 20: vs. Ukiah/Long Creek [JV] in Dayville, 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 21: @ Central Christian, 4 p.m.
Sept. 24: vs. Grant Union JV in Monument, 5 p.m.
Sept. 27: @ Ukiah / Long Creek [JV] in Ukiah, 5 p.m.
Sept. 28: @ Crane, 5 p.m.
Oct. 4: vs. Harper Charter in Monument, 2 p.m.
Oct. 5: vs. Adrian in Dayville, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 11: @ Huntington, 4 p.m.
Oct. 12: @ Jordan Valley, 1 p.m. (MT)
Oct. 18: @ Burnt River in Prairie City, 3 p.m.
Oct. 18: @ Prairie City, 5 p.m.
Oct. 26: High Desert League Tournament at Grant Union in John Day, TBD