Douglas High senior captain Suzy Berger goes up for a kill against Bishop Manogue on Tuesday. Berger leads the team in kills so far this fall and will be a valuable piece for a younger Tiger squad.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
Douglas High School volleyball has a much different look this fall after graduating a number of seniors from last season’s team.
Head coach Suzi Townsell and the Tigers have a lot of pieces to play, but plenty of those pieces are new to the varsity ranks.
Through Thursday, Douglas had an 11-7 record after playing in a handful of tournament matches in the early season.
In league play, which is just getting underway, the Tigers are 1-3.
“We’re young, we’re learning. It’s just a patience thing you have to go through. They are learning and they’ve had a lot of touches so far,” Townsell said.
There are a few players who have been in Townsell’s system for several years that the longtime head coach is counting on to lead the younger ranks.
Suzy Berger posted 155 kills last season, the most of any returning player on the roster.
Through her first 26 sets, Berger has led the team on the attack with 86 kills.
Berger will be one of the team’s two captains, alongside libero Sumer Williams.
Williams, a junior, was the Tigers’ libero last season and scooped up 235 digs in 2022.
So far, she’s been credited with 145 digs through her first 26 sets.
Shasta Garr and will be another weapon on the outside for Douglas, but the Tigers are still waiting on her and another hitter to return from injury.
“Just to be role models,” said Townsell. “Probably two of our biggest hitters are out right now. We will have a lot different kind of team when they come back.”
Also returning for the Tigers is setter Sophia Vido, who has 69 assists through the team’s first couple weeks.
In the younger ranks, sophomore Morgan Machado is third on the team with 41 kills.
Kiyara Clark and Hailee Koontz are two other sophomores who will continue to play valuable roles, as well.
“I love their energy,” said Townsell of the up-and-coming players. “(Clark) is new to volleyball, but really athletic,” said Townsell. “It’s going to be fun watching them.”
Junior Ella Girdner and sophomore Priya Kc have also seen time at the setter position so far this season.
“There’s a learning curve,” said Townsell. “It’ll be interesting to see where we are mid-season.”
After making it into the second round of the postseason last year, the Tigers always seem to be in the mix in the North.
Around the 5A North, the Tigers feel their stiffest competition will be Bishop Manogue and Spanish Springs.
Reno is always in the mix, as well, and the Carson Senators won’t be slouches. The teams split the two-match regular-season series last fall.
(Libero Sumer Williams bumps a ball against Bishop Manogue. Williams returns for her second season as the team’s libero and has 145 digs to this point. / Ron Harpin)