Young E-W volleyball team opens season against Woodinville Tuesday night

Junior Maddie Houvener returns for the Warriors as a setter.
Sophomore Sidney Eck is back as a middle blocker.
Returning senior Selma Tango, an outside hitter, is a team leader.

The Edmonds-Woodway volleyball team will not have an easy season ahead of it in 2011 – that much is certain. What is left to be determined is who will step forward to lead the young Warrior squad, which launches its season with a home match vs. Woodinville Tuesday night.

Edmonds-Woodway’s 2010 campaign came to an end with two quick losses in the district tournament, and Wesco South rival Jackson went on to win the state title.

“We didn’t do very well (in the 2010 district tournament), but we had a lot of injuries and young players,” head coach Nicole Bordeaux said. “For what we were working with, I thought we did a pretty good job.”

This year’s squad doesn’t jump out on paper, and experienced returning seniors are limited to two in Allie Rutz and Selma Tanjo. But Coach Bordeaux thinks they just might surprise some people this season.

Senior middle blocker Allie Rutz is a "great athlete" who may surprise people, her coach says.
Sophomore Rebecca Sharp is a newcomer to the varsity squad this year.

“Allie is a great athlete, and a really quick middle for how tall she is,” Bordeaux added. “She’s got a quick arm swing, and we’re just looking for her to bring the unexpected. I don’t think a lot of teams look to her as a dominant threat, but I think they’re going to be mistaken.”

Edmonds-Woodway’s second-year coach thinks other teams might do the same with Tanjo as well.

“Selma is a great all-around player; she’s one of our smallest girls too,” says Bordeaux. “Again, she’s somebody that teams probably won’t look at as a huge threat because of her size, especially when she’s in the front row. But she’s strong, and she’s a great defensive player who reads the court very well.”

Other returners that will have an opportunity to step up for the Warriors include Maddie Houvener and Julia Hutchison, who have less experience than the returning seniors but have the right tools to compete.

“We’re kind of just starting fresh, starting from ground zero, and we’re just going to push them to be leaders,” Bordeaux says of this year’s team. “I think there is a lot of expectation with them, and I think normally these kids wouldn’t be the strongest of leaders. But because they are the oldest and have been in the program the longest, there’s a lot on their shoulders to be leaders.”

— Story by Ian Waldron, EWHS Class of 2006.


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