The PHS volleyball team hosted the “Portland Invitational” this past Saturday, where the Raiders took second place. The team finished two and one in pool play, defeating Alma 25-17 and 25-19, Waverly 25-22 and 25-18, then losing to Haslett 20-25 and 22-25. They then faced Haslett in the championship losing 13-25 and 14-25.
For the season, the team’s overall record moves to eight wins, six losses and two ties. They are one and one in league play.
When asked about her playing and coaching resume, Head Coach Lindsay Barker says, “I played volleyball for Portland for three years on varsity. I starting coaching six years ago as the 7th grade coach. I coached 7th grade for three years, then freshman for two years. This is my first year as varsity (coach). I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have on the game to girls and just watching them grow. Actually, my first group of 7th graders are now seniors so I have had the opportunity to watch them grow.”
Barker said the 2016 squad ended the season 10-27-2, and that, “They were a young team and (it was) a building year.” When asked of notable losses from that team, Barker said, “Brooke Butterfield was a strong outside hitter. She was a great leader.”
As for key returning players Barker says, “Lesley Barker (Libero-Junior). She is quick and does very well at reading the ball. It will be hard to get something past her. Jolee Pung (Middle Hitter – Junior). A strong hitter returning as a junior. Still building strength, but once comfortable she will be a big threat. Hannah Densmore (Outside Hitter – Senior). A key outside hitter. Riley Densmore (Senior- Setter).”
Barker also says new comer Junior Middle Hitter Rachel Vanhouten is, “A tall hitter that will be a big threat.”
As for statistical leaders for the year so far, Coach Barker says, “Lesley Barker is our dig leader averaging 6.19 digs a game. Jolee Pung kill leader with 2.19 kills a game and Riley Goodman 7.15 set assists.”
Coach Barker added, “I have seen so much improvement this year. The girls are coming to practice ready to improve and prepare for our games. We are a very young team so we are building and working on our consistency. It has been a very fun year so far. It is a very competitive league this season, so come out and support (us)!”
The Raiders next home game is this Wednesday, 9/21, at 5:00 PM, when the host Williamston in a conference match-up.