On Oct. 16, The Dalles senior Bailey LeBreton had a chance to put her volleyball career in perspective.
She enjoyed a lot of memorable moments and athletic achievements in her four years, but the biggest thing she will miss is her teammates.
LeBreton and teammates Kilee Hoylman and Audrey Synon received all-Intermountain Conference awards, with LeBreton scoring second-team honors as an all-around player and both Hoylman (libero) and Synon (all-around) were honorable mention selections.
“I am going to miss everyone on this team. They have meant so much to me,” LeBreton said. “We had our ups and downs like any other team, but that’s what happens when you are with your second family. They are all a great bunch of girls and I know they are going to do a lot of great things. Volleyball is over, but everything I shared with my teammates will last a lifetime. I wouldn’t have wanted to play with any other team.”
In her final five matches, LeBreton averaged 17.6 kills, 10.2 digs and two blocks, adding a season-high 27 kills in a five-game loss on Oct. 9 at home versus Pendleton and 17 digs versus St. Helens on Oct. 23.
TD head coach Neticia Fanene had six seniors on her varsity roster and LeBreton provided the most varsity experience of the group.
As a sophomore, LeBreton posted a team-high 21 blocks, was second in kills with 64 in nine league tilts and racked up 84 points, second-best on the squad, to earn honorable mention.
With added time on the court in 2017, the middle blocker had 92 points, second-best on the team, with 71 kills, an average of 1.9 kills per set, and she tallied 44 digs and 23 blocks, combined solo and assisted for first-team recognition.
This fall, LeBreton led the Hawks with 90 kills, and added 60 digs and nine blocks in 10 league contests.
“Bailey was our team leader, our fire and drive of the team,” Fanene said. “She led every match in kills and played nearly every point in every game this season. Bailey never stopped fighting and would always keep a positive and level-headed attitude from beginning to end. We wish Bailey the best on her next endeavor.”
Hoylman played at the net and at libero this year and was not shy about diving all over the court to keep balls alive.
The junior had as many as five kills in a match and racked up a season-high 26 digs on Oct. 9 against Pendleton. In TD’s last match on Oct. 23 versus St. Helens at Kurtz Gym, Hoylman finished with 25 digs in the team’s four-game victory.
Hoylman totaled a team-leading 85 digs in league action, and when thrust into front row duties for a few weeks, she wound up with 19 kills.
“Kilee is such a selfless player, who is always willing to play any position I asked her to,” Fanene said. “She is always positive and never got down on herself.”
The Riverhawks (5-15 overall, 2-8 in league) ended up with a pair of four-game losses to Hood River Valley, lost in four on the road at Camas, Wash., and lost in five opposite Pendleton, as they went 2-3 in their last five matches.
With LeBreton scheduled to graduate, Synon is going to be one of a handful of returning players to pick up the offensive slack in 2019.
Three performances show that Synon, a junior outside hitter, is ready to embrace a bigger role moving forward.
Against Redmond, she had six kills, and on Sept. 25, Synon rattled off nine kills, 15 digs and two aces.
In TD’s season-ending match versus St. Helens, the junior put up 15 kills, 11 digs and four aces.
Synon paced the Hawks with a team-high 13 service aces, added 68 digs and 29 kills in league.
“Audrey really came out of her comfort zone this year,” Fanene said. “Earlier during the summer, we attended Guy Enriques’ team volleyball camp and she really took away the positive verbal communication from camp. She played confident this year and really grew into a strong player for us this season.”
While TD is losing six veterans, Synon and Hoylman, along with Charlie May, Lauryn Belanger, Alexa Corwin and Maggie Justesen will look to add their crucial varsity minutes to the mix next fall.
Those added reps will be critical in a league that featured state qualifiers, Crook County, Hood River Valley (fourth place) and Ridgeview (state runner-up).
“Volleyball has grown and girls playing year-round. We are trying to build a program into something like that,” Fanene said. “That is why it is good to have good teams in our league. Three of them were ranked in the top-8, which shows what we went up against. It is nice to play good competition, so I think the girls look forward to it. They love the game and want to improve, so as long as they stay positive and keep working, they will be in good shape.”
For players looking to play in the offseason, the Cherry City Juniors volleyball club is hosting tryouts for its 14U and 16-18U programs starting at 9 a.m. this Sunday in the upper gym at Dufur.
The 14U group runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is open to girls born between Sept. 1, 2004 to Aug. 31, 2006.
At 2 p.m., the 16-18U athletes have their three-hour session. Qualifying players must be born from Sept. 1, 2000 to Aug. 31, 2004.
There is a non-refundable $25 fee due at the tryout. If a player is selected to join a team, the $25 will be applied to the total registration club fee of $175.
Those costs include tournament registration entries and a warmup shirt and bag, which the player keeps.
Interested parties are encouraged to email the players name and age to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the website at www.cherrycityvolleyball .com to learn more about the program.