It is that time of the year again: Spring sports are wrapping up, the summer grind is starting, and fall sports are only about 2 1/2 months away. There will be previews of each classification in volleyball, soccer, and cross country this summer, with some being more detailed than others depending on the amount of information available. Let’s continue the countdown to fall sports with previewing the Pacific Conference in volleyball, soccer, and cross country.
2021 Champion: Sherwood
2021 Athlete of the Year: Sophie Gregoire-Salagean, Newberg
Top Returners: Sophie Gregoire-Salagean (Newberg), Elisabeth Levick (Glencoe), Tehya Militante (Century), Emily Fulton (Sherwood), Caitlin Kirkpatrick (Sherwood), McKensi Erion (Newberg), Kara Richman (Newberg), Rylee Perlmutter (Sherwood), Emma Lake (Liberty), Liv Van Austen (Sherwood), Mikalyn Freeman (McMinnville), April Jones (Glencoe), Emma Jones (Liberty), Emma Lane (McMinnville), Paige Mahan (Liberty), Audrey Duckworth (Newberg), Tehani Militante (Century), Ava Jones (Liberty), Bella Peralta (McMinnville)
McMinnville: 3-18 (1-11) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 9
The Grizzlies had a rough 2021 campaign, but things seem to look up entering the 2022 season, as they return seven seniors to the floor this fall. There are no particular positions of need or holes to fill, and they return a trio of all-league selections in Emma Lane, Bella Peralta, and Mikalyn Freeman. The experience might bring some hope that they can sneak into the playoffs this year.
Forest Grove: 7-12 (2-10) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 4
Unlike the aforementioned Grizzlies, the 2022 season is a near complete rebuild for the Vikings. There are two positions filled up: Libero and setter, featuring Kai Ingram and Jordan Ingram. Other than that, everything else is completely open for the taking and there will be completely new depth charts coming out this fall. It’ll be fun to see what Head Coach Jeff Leo comes up with when the season starts in August for Forest Grove.
Liberty: 7-13 (3-9) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 8
2022 looks to be a hopeful one for the Falcons after 2021 fell just short of a playoff bid. Their biggest pieces are back this year in Ava Jones, Emma Jones, Emma Lake, and Paige Mahan, along with middle blockers Kaylena Quiddaoen and Kaylena Quiddaoen. There are no real holes on the roster, so things look optimistic for Liberty in 2022. It is a safe bet that they’ll be back in the state playoffs this fall after just missing out last year.
Glencoe: 11-10 (8-4) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 6
The Crimson Tide had a solid 2021 season, challenging Sherwood and sweeping Newberg last year en route for a fourth-place finish in the Pacific Conference. They do lose some defense, outside hitting, and their libero from last season, but all-league selections Elisabeth Levick and April Jones are back this year. The lineup will look a bit different and some players might shift, but Glencoe’s playoff streak should keep going in 2022.
Century: 14-10 (8-4) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 6
A senior loaded Jaguars team broke through last fall, leading Century to their first playoff appearance since 2013. The 2022 campaign has the potential to be the concrete start of a new era in Century volleyball, led by sister duo Tehya Militante and Tehani Militante. Amiya Tanakura returns as the main setter, the Militante sisters, Naomi Young, and Kylie Sagapolu are the leading hitters, while Kiomi Tanakura is the main middle blocker. The key for them this summer is to fill in the roster and develop chemistry, which will be a big factor in whether or not they get back into the playoffs again in 2022.
Newberg: 18-6 (9-3) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 9
A promising year ended in heartbreak for Newberg, as Sprague knocked out the Tigers in a tough five-set first round matchup. 2022 looks to be a year for redemption up at Newberg, led by conference player of the year and Oregon commit Sophia Gregoire-Salagean. There is a need to fill in the middle blocking department, as Newberg sheds all their primary MB’s from 2021 this fall, so retooling might be in order. Once they sort that out, things will look strong across the board and hopeful for a better run in the playoffs this year.
Sherwood: 18-4 (11-1) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 11
The defending conference champions are also the most experienced team returning this year, reloading in 2022 with all-league selections Emily Fulton, Caitlin Kirkpatrick, Rylee Perlmutter, and Liv Van Austen. They have plenty of depth coming back and it likely means that another league title is in their lap, but they’ll need to keep their guard up against a motivated Newberg team.
2021 Champion: Sherwood
2021 Athlete of the Year: Julia Richards, Liberty
Top Returners: Elise Borberg (Forest Grove), Esmeralda Arenas (McMinnville), Ella Weathers (Sherwood), Sophia Broberg (Forest Grove), Morgan Keller (Liberty), Joanna Long (Forest Grove), Gracie Hess (Newberg), Aaliyah Magpantay (Glencoe), Lua Maffia (Newberg), Kaily Driggers (Century), Taylor Holt (Sherwood), Nahla Nelson (McMinnville), Kailey Carcamo (Glencoe), Lainee Derry (Sherwood), Ava Henkemeyer (Forest Grove), Janna McNamee (Liberty), Katia Pender (Newberg), Sage Reamer (Liberty), Quinn Brophy (Glencoe), Megan Galian (Liberty), Megan Stoffregen (Liberty), Mercy Starling (Newberg), Aleena Calvert (Forest Grove), Kiley Schroll (Glencoe)
Century: 5-8-1 (0-6) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 14
The Jaguars had a strong start, but a rough conclusion to the 2021 season. They were sitting at 3-2-1 and had playoff hopes, but a winless conference slate destroyed those hopes. Century returns all-league selection Kaily Driggers on offense, their starting goalkeeper Makena Miller, and what appears to be a decent amount of depth on both sides of the ball. Things look optimistic for a better campaign in 2022 than the 2021 ended for the Jaguars.
Newberg: 3-7-4 (1-3-2) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 13
Youth is what flourishes in the fountains of Newberg, and this 2022 roster is no exception to that rule. Returning sophomores Katia Pender and Gracie Hess will lead their offensive attack alongside senior Lua Maffia, while senior Mercy Starling runs the defense. Plenty of cycling is coming to the starting lineup, including a new goalkeeper and depth losses, so the new look lineup will be fun to dissect once they get a few games under their belt. Will they be better than 2021? Hard to say at this point.
Glencoe: 5-6-3 (2-3-1) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 17
They fell just short of the playoffs last season, but the Crimson Tide have a wealth of experience and thirst to change that in 2022. Things start in the net with all-league selection Kiley Schroll, who returns as a senior leader at goalkeeper for Glencoe. Aaliyah Magpantay, Kailey Carcamo, and Quinn Brophy are all offensive weapons at the disposal of Glencoe this year as well. Plenty of pieces will fill-in on offense and defense, providing a smooth transition for the 2022 season that could result in a playoff bid for Glencoe.
Liberty: 8-6-1 (3-3) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 17
Julia Richards was a star goalkeeper for Liberty in 2021, so the largest question mark is: Who replaces her? All-league returners Sage Reamer, Megan Galian, Janna McNamee, and Morgan Keller are an offensive threat to handle for many squads, while the depth of defense to pair with Megan Stoffregen is also looking pretty. The Falcons are looking on the right track for the playoffs again, but nothing is certain until they get the goalkeeper spot figured out.
Forest Grove: 12-3-3 (3-1-2) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 15
This is the program that defeated Olympus in the state playoffs, then they ripped off a run to the state semifinals. Could they be even better in 2022? Given the fact that their team is loaded again this season, returning just about every key player from last year is a pretty large hint that they are probably on the verge of 6A contention this season. A pair of major defensive pieces are gone in Camilla Contreras Brand and Lily Everson, but that can be worked on over the summer and be ready in time for the season. Watch out for the Grove in 2022, they might just snatch a state title when you aren’t looking.
McMinnville: 9-5-1 (4-2) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 11
A senior laced roster got the Grizzlies to the playoffs in 2021, but a retooling season is on the way after major roster losses to graduation over the offseason. The losses are pretty spread even on both sides, as McMinnville loses at least six players from each side of the ball, presenting an interesting challenge to overcome with so much turnover. Watch out for sophomore star Esmeralda Arenas to run the offensive attack and fellow sophomore Nahla Nelson to anchor defensively, while Maya Altree likely takes over goalkeeping duties. The rest of the makeup is merely a mystery, as is how the season will pan out for the Grizzlies until they get results in.
Sherwood: 8-4-6 (5-0-1) in 2021, Projected Varsity Returners: 9
The 2021 campaign was a team rooted in defensive excellence and shutting down the opponent, but it was spoiled by league rival Forest Grove during their hot handed run to the state semifinals. Now, the real test begins to the sustainability of their roster over the long haul. Lainee Derry and Taylor Holt are the defensive anchors that will aid Charlotte Overton’s likely transition into the starting role as a goalkeeper, while Ella Weathers will be leaned on to provide offensive production to a team that lost nine players from that side of the ball. They’ll be back in the playoffs, but will they be as good as they were in 2022?
2021 Champion: Sherwood
2021 Athlete of the Year: Nancy Biegel, Sherwood
Top Returners: Senoya Bugher (Sherwood), Kenzie Kosik (Sherwood), Heidi Gill (Sherwood), Morgan Boddy (Liberty), Anna Grunow (Sherwood), Yemi Rue (McMinnville), Maya Kondo (Century), Margaret Pannell (Sherwood), Dominique Eszenyi (Newberg), Emma Townsend (Glencoe)
Forest Grove: 7th in the Pacific in 2021
Things weren’t the smoothest for the Vikings last season, as they found themselves stacked behind a league loaded in cross country talents as the lone program without their own star per say. 2022 presents an opportunity to make gains with their core, as Century and Liberty will experience drop offs from their stars that could impact their overall spot in the hierarchy.
Century: 6th in the Pacific in 2021
Maya Kondo is the face of the Jaguars program, sitting as the seventh-best returning athlete in 2022 for the Pacific Conference. Once you get past Kondo, it tells the tale of a program that is just trying to get better. Unless her teammates can make gains on time and ultimately position, Century could find themselves in the cellar even with Kondo leading the way for them.
Liberty: 5th in the Pacific in 2021
The Falcons have a little bit better depth than their counterparts at Century and Forest Grove, ultimately setting them up for a solid fifth spot this year in the Pacific Conference. Morgan Boddy is a stud and she’ll carry the team, while her teammates will be just good enough to keep Liberty pat in their current position.
Newberg: 4th in the Pacific in 2021
The Tigers are the bridge from the bottom of the Pacific to the upper echelon of the conference. Dominique Eszenyi leads the way and is aided up by Acacia Czuk and Sage Bensman, all of whom fall in the Top 20 of the league entering 2022. They are too deep to fall any further than fourth in the league, but they may not have the pieces to get into the Top 3.
McMinnville: 3rd in the Pacific in 2021
It will be a close battle to see who comes runner-up behind Sherwood in the Pacific, and McMinnville definitely has the ability to make a case. Yemi Rue will lead the way for the Grizzlies, while Charlotte Terry, Aubrey Rodriguez, and Viviana Garibay all sit in the Top 15 overall this season. Their final placement will possibly come down to a single position shift between them and Glencoe.
Glencoe: 2nd in the Pacific in 2021
Brooke Bowden is departed and that will make their run at Pacific runner-up again this season a bit more complicated. Emma Townsend and Isabelle Pruss will be the anchors, while they’ll need every position they can milk out of their depth pieces to keep their spot that they earned last year.
Sherwood: Pacific Conference Champions in 2021
They return the three best runners in the conference and an entire top five lineup that all place in the top ten overall for the league. There isn’t a debate nor discussion about who wins the Pacific Conference, just hand them the trophy already.