All levels of volleyball spike competition





The girls volleyball program has had an impressive start in the first half of Capital Valley Conference league play. Varsity is 6-2, JV is 7-1 and the freshman team remains undefeated at 8-0.

The varsity team is currently tied with the Bella Vista Broncos for second place, while the Whitney Wildcats sit undefeated in first place. Coach Cindy Simon feels as if  these are the two teams the Tigers will have to look out for during the second half of league, especially with the goal of reaching at least the section semifinals in mind.

“We definitely want to make it to playoffs, and they only take three teams,” Simon said. “Our goal is to make it to semis, so third round of playoffs.”

Simon feels that the team will be able to reach its goal because the Tigers have one of the tallest teams in the league. She thinks that they are a big powerhouse team that are very strong on the court.


The team is led on offense by Washington State University commit senior outside hitter Savanah Smith, who has the most kills (142) and the highest kill per set rate (2.4) on the team, and is anchored on defense by senior middle blocker Isabelle Bautista, who leads the team in blocks with 58.

According to Simon, the team struggled to find the right formation at the start of the season and was in need of a strong, reliable setter.

“Our main focus was to find a setter that could connect and work well with our hitters,” Simon said. “We were missing a big component of our game and at the beginning of the season we knew that that position was going to be a hard one to fill, and that our hitters were going to have to adjust to a new setter.”

After finally deciding to run a 5-1 formation that revolved around junior setter Jessica Donahue, the girls were able to find their rhythm.

“We changed our defense and our line up to find the best match for everyone,” Donahue said. “Simon takes our stats and switches up our rotations to see how we can work with each one best, and I think you can tell.”

The JV team has maintained an impressive 7-1 record throughout the first eight games of league with their only loss coming from the Oakmont Vikings. Although the team picked up a loss, freshman middle Kate Slack thinks the team will be able to continue their impressive form in the second half of the season.

“I think we can play just as well or better in the second half of league,” Slack said. “We still need to work on stuff like communication and moving our feet, but I think we can get that down in time.”

One of the most pivotal games for the Tigers was their league game against the Ponderosa Bruins. Going into the game, both the Tigers and the Bruins were undefeated in league. The Tigers came out on top in three sets, winning the third one by a score of 15-9.

Sophomore hitter Makayla Lira thinks it was a very important win for the team, and it has been the biggest game of the season so far.

“It was a good win for us, our team played very well when we needed to,” Lira said. “It’s definitely been the biggest game of the season so far, especially considering both of us were undefeated.”

The JV team pulled up two freshman to play with the team this year, Kate Slack and Shay Lesniewski. Lira believes that they have been a key part in the team due to their abilities on the court.

“They have been helping out a lot this year,” Lira said. “They’re both very skilled and have been a big part of our team.”

Simon had no doubts in the JV team as the girls went 14-0 as freshmen last year. She thought they would struggle to find a big hitter for their team due to the loss of sophomore Erin Butler to varsity this year but she feels that Slack was able to step up.

“Slack has done a great job in that position and I really think they will continue to have a successful season,” Simon said.

The freshman team stands as the only remaining undefeated girls team at Roseville High School this year, boasting an 8-0 record after the first half of league. Freshman setter Samantha Beaman credits team chemistry to the team’s impressive start.

“We all know each other really well and we’ve bonded throughout the season,” Beaman said. “I think we work harder because we know each other really well and we trust each other.”

Simon thinks that the team is able to succeed due to the amount of girls on the team, especially because of how many have played club volleyball in previous years.

“They know the game very well. At the age of 14 they have three or four years of club under their belts, which I feel like really helps at the freshman level,” Simon said. “From what I’ve seen they’re the most consistent in the league and they’re very mature for their age.”