Here is a look at the 2012 Mid-Columbia Conference volleyball season:
Most coaches seem excited about the new league for all the obvious reasons: No more long road trips on Tuesdays, bigger crowds possible, and rivalries created. There is also no West Valley for the Class 3A schools to face. The defending state champions dropped to Class 2A. ...
Nearly every team has big holes to fill, though Richland seems to be the preseason favorite. Chiawana and the Kennewick schools are all expected to be in the mix as well. ... The top two Class 4A schools will advance to the regional tournament against the Greater Spokane League. The No. 1s will play for a state berth, while the No. 2s will play an elimination match. The winner of the No. 2s will then face the No. 1s loser, playing for the other state berth. ...
The Class 3A schools will see all four teams advance to a two-week regional tournament, with the specifics still being determined. ... Chiawana will rely on not only Steach and Hill, but middle hitters Madison Powers and Maddie Heine as well. ... Richland has seven seniors, and three sophomores who are expected to make big impacts. ... Walla Walla has a new coach in Don Hepker. ... Pasco lost just two players and will build around three-year starters Diaz and senior outside hitter Sierra Linke. ... Kamiakin returns seniors Jesse Eeminster and Taylor Janicek, and junior Amanda Miller. ... Kennewick has eight players back from its first state-qualifying team, led by Maddie Zinsli, Lizzy Riddley and Sofia Clinton. The Lions dont have very much height, but coach Julie Maciboba expects her team to be scrappy. ... Southridge had a disappointing finish to its season in 2011, taking second in league only to get knocked out in the first round of the regional tournament. The Suns have nearly everyone back, though, including Fraga and Spurlock. Coach John Lengphounpraseut is also counting on youngsters Alyssa Palmer and Jordan Mix.
Walla Walla 6-4
Moses Lake 3-9
District tournament champions: Walla Walla
Regional tournament champions: Mead
State tournament: Wenatchee 0-2
First team: Alisha Bettinson, senior, hitter, Richland; Deserea Estavillo, senior, libero, Richland; Jaymee Steach, senior, setter, Chiawana.
Second team: Torri Crawford, senior, middle blocker, Walla Walla.
Honorable mention: Shantelle Hill, junior, outside hitter, Chiawana; Elizabeth Quick, senior, outside hitter, Richland.
District tournament champions: West Valley
Regional tournament champions: West Valley
State tournament: West Valley won state title; Kennewick 1-2
First team: Nikki Eldred, senior, outside hitter, Hanford.
Second team: Marisol Diaz, senior, libero, Pasco; Kylie Fraga, junior, setter, Southridge; Maddie Zinsli, senior, setter, Kennewick.
Honorable mention: Emma Spurlock, junior, outside hitter, Southridge; Lizzy Riddley, senior, defensive specialist, Kennewick