Creswell — On Tuesday, a 3-way volleyball meet was hosted by the Creswell Bulldogs with Lowell and Coquille. The final results were 3-1, 3-0 wins for Creswell, 1-3, 3-1 split for Coquille, and 1-3, 0-3 losses for Lowell. There was a lot of action to observe, players to watch, and notes to take on the action, so here are the EOG perspectives on each team and some players that stood out on Tuesday night:
This roster is loaded up with more juniors than I can remember, ramping themselves up to be a potential three-year threat program with this current class of athletes. On Tuesday, they dropped their first set of the season against Coquille 20-25, but recovered to sweep out the Devils in the next three sets, and finishing with a sweep of Lowell later in the night. Personally, I would tab Kyla Ellis as their most dynamic athlete on the floor, as Kyla was doing almost anything for Creswell: Throwing down kills, blocking shots, setting up teammates, digging out a ball, the list just goes on and on. Kyla is flashy with her two-way combo of defense and offense, but there’s a lot of substance that comes along with that flash.
Lisabelle Osborn threw down one of the most powerful kills I’ve ever seen in a game, the echo from her hit sent soundwaves throughout the gymnasium and froze me in disbelief. She’s better known for her offensive game, as she took on a majority of the kill attempts against Lowell, constantly challenging the defense to keep up with her power shots. Even if that’s all she does have, which I don’t believe to be the case, it is enough to be a threat to the opposition. Lisabelle left me hungry to see more from her on the court and that is a great thing.
If you get to know Samairah Quinones as a person, she is the very type of athlete that you’d want in your program: Friendly, hard-working, coachable, and does her job to the best of her ability without complaint. Samairah is what I like to call a utility athlete: You can call on her to do anything and it’ll be a respectable effort, which isn’t something you can claim with everyone. She works primarily as a role-playing rotation player, but her energy is contagious, and effort is among some of the best around and you can’t replace that.
My final talking point goes to Kimberlee Kelsey, who is an under the radar threat on the floor. In short, her ability to shift between being a setter and a hitter is not only impressive, but extremely valuable to a roster that is loaded already with hitters. Creswell is pretty deep on their roster, so it’s easy to be pulled out for a certain scheme, but Kimberlee would be someone that you’d keep in for multiple roles and that makes her indispensable for the Bulldogs.
It wasn’t the prettiest of sights: At times they looked like confident and ready to plow, and other times they looked disorganized and flustered. In fairness, Coquille is retooling after losing key seniors on the 2021 roster along with moving up to 3A from 2A, but all the mixed signals made it difficult to pinpoint exactly where they stand. They are talented, but how long will it take for it to gel together? The Devils have a scary freshman with a ceiling to do damage: Lexi Lucatero. What I observed was an athlete that looking comfortable and ready to tackle the world: Throwing down the ball, blocking shots, and finding her comfort zone on the front line of the net. Give it some time, but Lexi will be a top athlete at some point in Oregon.
I enjoyed watching Brooklyn New on Tuesday, she’ll be a leader on the floor that Coquille needs to help them come together in chemistry. Individually, Brooklyn was all over the front line, meshing together with numerous combos of teammates to try and make the play every time out there. Brooklyn also took it upon herself to make plays, throwing down some kills and finding creativity in how to offset the defense. Brooklyn is a leader and will be a major piece in this team’s successes in 2022.
Speaking of leadership on the floor, Trinidy Blanton would also fit into that description. Trinidy seemed like the most vocal of the Coquille players, keeping the team level-headed and supported after each point. Trinidy is an offensive nightmare with her quirky ability to combine power with sniper aiming, finding even the smallest cracks in the defensive arrangement.
It’s hard to believe that Holli Vigue is only a sophomore, she has the composure of a senior when she plays. Holli is the stud setter for Coquille, doing everything she can to deliver the ball accurately and on time. She even showed a bit of fire with some hit attempts, which could be a secret weapon to use when she needs it. Holli will kill you with consistency and wearing you down, not with flash and pizazz, and that’s all you need sometimes.
The final recognition I have goes to Reggie Gardner, a junior that is quietly doing her job and making her own impact. Come next season, Reggie should be a senior leader in this program, as she has the potential to break out as a star on the statewide stage. A lengthier athlete than normal, she was throwing up block attempts and working the net as both a decoy and actual target. The potential is certainly there, she just needs an opportunity to unleash it fully.
Their record says 0-4 this season, but plenty of potential is in the wings of this squad. They are still figuring out how to work with each other, as the chemistry was a strength at its best, and a complete liability at its lowest point. Once everything gels together, Lowell is will be a dangerous team and will do some damage to unsuspecting opponents. My eyes were glued to Freshman Madison Thurman, a player who on first sight doesn’t look like the flashy type. Her height doesn’t define her, as she has a vertical that captures the attention and Madison uses it to every advantage she has. She’ll be a key two-way front net athlete, throwing down kills and blocking opponents in the trenches. Once she fine tunes her fundamentals, she might be one of the best in 2A.
Alongside Madison is Brooke Davis, who boasts size and effectiveness in her role on the front line of defense. She comes across as more of a defensive presence than a two-way like Madison does, but she definitely exceeds in that defensive primary role. There is a third musketeer to this trio, and her name is Amerika Baszler. She’s a hybrid athlete, throwing up blocks on the defensive side and working from the back row on the offensive end, but she can throw down a kill or two if need be.
The final athlete of discussion is Alyson Curry, who appears to be one of the primary setters for Lowell’s offense. Between her and Amerika, those two are interchangeable and manage to be a perfect fit for the offense, allowing both of them to shine in that role and in other ventures on the floor. For the moment, Alyson seems to be the typical setter and back row defender, but it is a job that is effective and will be important for Lowell’s molding into a top tier squad.