West Valley volleyball player Adysen Burns hits the ball during a game against Ellensburg at West Valley high school on Sept. 8, 2018 in Yakima, Wash. Burns is one of seven returning players for the Rams, who finished seventh in the 2017 Class 4A state tournament. (Oliver Hamlin, Yakima Herald-Republic)



FAVORITES: Seven return for a WEST VALLEY team that placed seventh at state last fall, led by reigning CBBN player of the year and University of Minnesota signee Shea Rubright (Sr., 6-5, middle hitter). The Rams also return four first-team all-leaguers in seniors Sydney Remsberg (5-4, setter), Payton Jones (5-10, middle hitter), Alyssa Smith (6-0, right-side hitter) and Avery Heinle (5-4 libero), with second-teamer Adysen Burns (Sr., 5-8, outside hitter) and Mackensi Meluskey (So., 6-8, OH) also back. ... EISENHOWER should pose the toughest challenge to West Valley with five starters back, including three who earned all-league recognition in Ashton Haughton (Sr., 6-0, OH), Ondrea Garza (Sr., 5-7, S) and Tamia Greggs (Jr., 6-0, MH). Others who saw significant action last season are Makenna Helseth (Jr., 5-9, MH), Maddie Pierone (Jr., 5-1, L-defensive specialist), Courtney Casell (Jr., 5-5, L-DS) and Eboni Johnson (So., 5-4, S-DS).

AROUND THE LEAGUE: DAVIS returns four starters in seniors Joci Morton (5-4, S) and Jordyn Skahan-White (5-7, OH) and juniors (Lochlyn Hoberg (6-2, OH) and Natalie Benitez (5-2, L) and has a trio of sophomores ready to contribute. ... SUNNYSIDE has seven back, led by all-leaguers Kiana Hellner-Gomez (Sr., 5-9, S) and Miriam Galvan (Sr., 5-10, MH). The Grizzlies also have experience with four other seniors in Ashlee Maldonado (5-8, OH), Mercedes Zavala (5-10, OH), Macy Clough (5-7, S) and Samantha Galindo (5-1, L) and junior Jessica Appleby (5-6, OSH). ... Outside the area, EASTMONT returns two second-team all-leaguers in Britt Vaughn (MH) and Kolbie Voshall (DS) but graduated a pair of all-league outside hitters in Rebecca Hall (1st team) and Maddy Sackman (2nd). ... MOSES LAKE builds around Yasmin Shateri (MH) and Serina Haneberg (S). ... WENATCHEE graduated two first-team all-leaguers in Alli Hallberg (OH) and Demary Sugg (S) but returns Maeghan Wulf (MH).




FAVORITES: SELAH looks primed for another state trip with an experienced group that features seniors Catherine Bechard (5-10, OH), Cheyenne Rath (6-0, RSH), Kayla Snodgrass (5-4, S), Cassidy Mears (5-7, RSH) and McKenzie Howard (5-4, L), along with Jade Larabee (5-4, S). ... ELLENSBURG returns two-time CWAC player of the year, first-team all-league setter and Gonzaga signee Tia Andaya (Sr., 5-10) and six juniors off its state team. The juniors, five of whom were all-league last season, are second-teamers Payton Lyyski (6-0, MB), Leah Stueckle (5-4, DS) and Grace Oldham (5-10, OH), honorable mention Shauny Fisk (5-5, DS) and Maia Valencia (5-6, S), and Savannah Bugni (5-11, MB). ... PROSSER lost a trio of all-leaguers but does return first-teamers Kayla Lind (Sr., 5-5, S) and Ashley Ripplinger (Sr., 6-1, MH) as well as Anahi Milanez (Sr., 5-7 L) and Jenna Schnellbach (Jr., 5-8, OH). Kelli Minn (Sr., MH), Abby Baze (DS) and Grace Meirndorf (So., OH) will be key replacements.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: EAST VALLEY is led by four returning starters, all seniors, in Kendall Locke (5-11, MB), Monetia Garza (5-7, RSH), Jillian Vickers (5-5, S) and Taylor Kuhlman (6-0, OH), with freshman Bryana Barry (5-6, OH) expected to play a role. ... GRANDVIEW builds around returners Karina Fajardo (Sr., 5-8, MH) and Cassidy Eucker (5-6, OH). ... WAPATO returns Madicin Vivette (Sr., 5-9, MB) and juniors Delilah Canales (5-8, OH), Allison Garza (5-8, OH) and Whila Ray (5-5, S). ... TOPPENISH looks to build behind new coach Annisa Godina.... EPHRATA must replace three graduated all-league picks, including two first-teamers. ... QUINCY returns Morgan Kleyn (Sr., OH).




FAVORITES: NACHES VALLEY returns first-team pick Joelle Forbes (Sr., 6-2, S) and second-teamer Danielle Shaul (Sr., L) off a team that was seventh at state in ’17. Also back is Sitlali Cortes (Sr., 5-9, OH) and Simranjeet Kaur (5-10, MB), with Allison Uecker (So., 5-10, OH) expected to make an impact. ... GRANGER builds around a pair of first-team all-league returners in Lily Stewart (6-1, OH) and Naya Roetter (5-4, S). The Spartans also return Kaitlyn Roettger (Jr., 5-4, OH) and Nizhoni Tallman (So., 5-1, L) and have experience with seniors Delilah Schneider (5-7, MB), Galilea Birrueta (5-7, MB) and Isamar Solorio (5-6, RSH).

AROUND THE LEAGUE: ZILLAH lost a couple of key pieces but still has plenty of experience with eight returners, led by all-league picks Kelsea Nunes (Sr., 5-8, OH) and McKenna Burge (Jr., 5-7, OH). Others back are Courtney Vance (Sr., 5-5, DS), juniors Kayla Derrey (5-4, S) and Kiri Schoonover (5-9, MH) and sophomores Emmalee Nishi (5-5, L), Maddie Wallace (5-9, MH) and Abbie Kallenberger (5-7, RSH). ... LA SALLE graduated two first-team all-league picks but does return all-leaguers Brooke Silvernail (So., 5-9, OH) and Lillian Wixson (Jr., 5-7, S). Also back are seniors Destiny Lopez (5-2, L) and Rachel Silvernail (5-9, MB), and sophomores Trista Hull (6-0, MH-RSH) and Teryn May (5-8, OH). ... HIGHLAND returns five, Emily Avelar (Sr., 5-4, DS) and juniors Evelyn Valencia (5-5, MH), Emma Rasmussen (5-6, S), Taya Stonecipher (5-6, OH) and Millagros Serna (5-5, OH). ... Patricia Garris is the new coach at CLE ELUM and she will build around Natalie and Naomi Baker, who return after not playing last season. ... GOLDENDALE, which graduated four all-league players off its ’17 state team, also has a new coach, with Kristen Lantau replacing Jodi Bellamy.



2B: WHITE SWAN has experience with five returners, all seniors, led by first-team all-EWAC pick Gabby Sanchez (5-7, S). The others are Siu-Nutt Brown (5-2, L), Ashley Carey (5-6, OH), Amanda Carey (5-7 OSH) and Alexis Hegler (5-2, DS). Three freshmen could also play key roles. ... Like the Cougars, MABTON has experience with four returners but is young with Kassandra Vargas (Sr., 5-0, OH-DS) the lone upperclassman in that group. The others are Kassandra Hernandez (Jr., 5-3, S) and sophomores Karina Garzon (4-11, DS-OH) and Olivia Zavala (5-4, DS). Freshmen Fatima Quintero (5-11, MH-DS) and Maggie Magana (5-2, OH-DS) should contribute. ... KITTITAS finished seventh at state in ’17 but faces a rebuilding job after graduating four all-league players, although first-teamer Taylor DeKoning (Jr., 5-9 OH) is back and Piper Williams (6-2, MH) returns after missing last season with an injury. ... League members TRI-CITIES PREP and WALLA WALLA VALLEY ACADEMY will also be seeking return trips to state.

1B: SUNNYSIDE CHRISTIAN lost four key players off it’s sixth-place state team but the Knights do return several important pieces, most notably seniors Krista Den Hoed (5-7, OH) and Emily Broersma (6-0, MH), junior Maddy Candanoza (5-2, L) and sophomore Sydney Banks (OH). ... BICKLETON is a young team with two freshmen and two eighth graders and no seniors on its eight-player roster. ... YAKIMA TRIBAL is also a member of the league. ... RIVERSIDE CHRISTIAN and EASTON will compete in the Central Washington League.

— Dave Thomas/Yakima Herald-Republic