June 13, 2014
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Six talented high school seniors make up the 2014 recruiting class for volleyball at Western Washington University.
The recruits include setter Brette Boesel from Brewster High School, defensive specialist Aubrey Buckner from Colville High School, middle blocker Michaela Hall from Centralia High School, middle blocker Kayleigh Harper from Oak Harbor High School, outside hitter Taylor Lyall from Sehome High School, and setter/outside hitter Abby Phelps from Chelan High School.
"The 2014 class has great balance throughout," said Viking head coach Diane Flick (15th year, 296-78) in making the announcement Friday. "It is balanced positionally, behaviorally, and competitively. They are not only great athletes, but also excellent students. I am really excited to see where they take this program."
Boesel was a four-time Caribou Trail League all-star at Brewster, being a first-team choice in each of her last three years. She helped the Bears place sixth at the Class 2B state tournament as a sophomore and seventh as a freshman.
As we look for setters, we evaluate them for their technique, tactics and leadership," Flick said. "Brette checks all those boxes and more. We anticipate her being a great floor leader, and a solid hub of our offense."
Buckner was a first-team Class 2A state all-tournament selection and Great Northern League Most Valuable Player as a senior at Colville. She helped the Indians place ninth at state, setting a school season record for kills with 459.
"I have always been impressed with Aubrey's nose for the ball, and really enjoyed working with her at camp," said Flick. "Her work ethic and determination is evident in the fact that she blew out her knee during her junior year and fought back to be MVP her senior year. Nothing short of impressive!"
Hall was a first-team Evergreen League all-star as a senior at Centralia, and participated in Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association All-State game. She set a school record for kills in a season with 380.
"Michaela is a hard hitting, workhorse who has the perfect mentality for a middle," Flick said. "Her work ethic will take her to heights she can only imagine, and we can't wait to get her in the gym."
Harper set school career records for kills with 721 and blocks with 174.5 at Oak Harbor. She was a first-team Western Conference all-star for the second straight year as a senior on a team that placed sixth at the Class 3A state tournament.
"Kayleigh has been coming to camps since she was a freshman in high school, so we have seen her grow up in front of us...all six-foot-three of her," said Flick. "Her vision in blocking and hitting is great, and will serve her well in the middle. Her potential is great and I can't wait to see the student-athlete she becomes."
Lyall was the Bellingham Herald Whatcom County Player of the Year and a first-team Northwest Conference all-star as a senior at Sehome. She earned state all-tourney honors in helping the Mariners place fourth at the Class 2A state tournament.
"Taylor has the solid all-around game that we look for in outside hitters," Flick said. "She can pass, hit, block, and play defense and possesses a deadly serve. It is great to have local talent join the Viking family."
Phelps was MVP of the Caribou Trail League as Chelan placed second at the Class 1A state tournament. She was a state all-tourney pick and participated in WSVCA All-State game.
"Abby's passion for volleyball is infectious, and she backs it up with great volleyball skills," said Flick. "Even after saying that, I think her greatest asset is her commitment to team and teammates."
WWU graduated just one senior from last year's 23-4 team that reached the first round of the NCAA Division II West Regional, ranked No.15 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll, and won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship (16-2).
Brette Boesel, Setter, Freshman, 5-9, 18, 03/11/96, Brewster, Wash.
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Caribou Trail League all-star as a senior at Brewster High School ... WIAA Seattle Times Class 1A Player of the Week ... Team captain and MVP ... First-team all-league and team captain as junior ... First-team all-league and WIAA Seattle Times Class 2B Player of the Week as a sophomore, helping Bears place sixth at state ... Second-team all-league as freshman on squad that finished seventh at state ... Member of Columbia Juniors Volleyball Club U-18, reaching 2013USA Volleyball Girl's Junior National Championships ... Started and lettered four years ... Also lettered four years in both basketball and track ... Second-team all-league three times in basketball, helping Lady Bears to first round at state as senior, state championship as junior, second at state as sophomore and fourth at state as freshman ... Most inspirational award winner as junior and Coaches' Award honoree as freshman and sophomore ... Played on teams that won conference and district titles as freshman, sophomore and junior ... Placed fifth at state in high jump (5-4) as junior and second as sophomore.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in kinesiology or business management... Her mother, Marcy, played volleyball at BYU Hawaii and Eastern Washington, and now is volleyball coach at Brewster High ... Her father, Mike, played football at Spokane Falls CC.
Aubrey Buckner, Defensive Specialist, Freshman, 5-10, 18, 6/11/96, Colville, Wash.
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Class 2A state all-tournament as senior at Colville High School ... MVP of Great Northern League ... Helped Indians place ninth at state ... Set school season record for kills with 459 ... Most Inspirational and Coaches Award winner ... Played just half of junior season before suffering torn ACL on squad that finished fourth at state ... As sophomore, competed on team that won Class 1A state championship ... Started and lettered three years ... Also lettered three years in track and two years in equestrian ... Participated at state as sophomore.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in psychology ... Her older sister, Joellee, is member of WWU volleyball team.
Michaela Hall, Middle Blocker, Freshman, 6-1, 18, 10/21/95, Centralia, Wash.
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Evergreen League all-star as senior at Centralia High School ... Participated in Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association Class All-State game ... Team captain for second straight year ... Set school season kill record with 380 ... First-team all-league as junior ... Second-team all-league as sophomore, helping Tigers place eighth at state tournament ... Started and lettered three years ... Also lettered four years in basketball and track ... Second-team all-league and team captain as junior and senior in basketball ... Placed fourth in high jump and ninth in triple jump at state as junior in track, and set school record in triple jump of 35-7 1/2 as sophomore ... All-league in three events as senior with bests of 5-3 in high jump, 123-0 in javelin and 118-0 in discus, and two each as sophomore and junior ...Team captain as junior and senior.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in either sports psychology or physical therapy ... Her father, Sean, played baseball at Spring Arbor University, and her mother, Laura, ran track and cross country there.
Kayleigh Harper, Middle Blocker, Freshman, 6-3, 18, 04/27/96, Oak Harbor, Wash.
HIGH SCHOOL: Set career records for kills with 721 and blocks with 174.5 at Oak Harbor High School ... First-team Western Conference all-star as senior ... Helped Wildcats win six of their last nine matches, place second at district tournament and sixth at Class 3A state tournament ... Sportsmanship Award winner ... Team MVP and captain's award winner ... Finished season with 343 kills, 110 digs, 90 blocks and 43 service aces ... In win over Shadle Park at state, had 15 kills, 10 digs and four blocks ... First-team WesCo North Division all-league as junior on team that got to districts ... Second-team all-league as sophomore ... Helped team to state as freshman ... Most Improved award winner ... Four-year letter winner ... Also earn two letters in track as high jumper.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in kinesiology ... High school coach was former WWU volleyball player Kerri (Short) Molito.
Taylor Lyall, Outside hitter,Freshman, 6-1, 18, 7/11/96, Bellingham, Wash.
HIGH SCHOOL: Bellingham Herald Whatcom County Player of the Year and first-team Northwest Conference all-star as senior at Sehome High School ... Led Mariners to 17-4 record and fourth place at Class 2A state tournament ... Named to state all-tournament team ... Team MVP ... First-team Whatcom County and conference all-star as junior on squad that reached state ... Received Sportsmanship Award at state ... Helped team to state tournament as sophomore ... Four-year letter winner ...Played three years of club competition for Skagit Island Volleyball Academy U-18, competing at 2011 National Championships in Florida ... Selected for USA Girls Youth National A2 Invitational Team in 2012 and 2011 ... One of 10 chosen to represent Puget Sound in The High Performance National Championship at Iowa in 2011 ... Member of Whatcom Volleyball Club for two years.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in education ... Named to honor roll every semester in high school.
Abby Phelps, Setter/Outside Hitter, Freshman, 5-10, 17, 03/23/96, Manson, Wash.
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Class 1A state all-tournament selection as senior at Chelan High School ... ... Participated in Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association All-State game ... Named Most Valuable Player of Caribou Trail League ... Helped Mountain Goats win regional title and place second at state ... Team MVP for third year ... First-team all-league as junior on team that was co-league champion ... Second-team state all-tournament and first-team all-league as sophomore on squad that won league title and placed seventh at state ... Second-team all-league on team that took league and state titles.... Started and lettered four years ... Also lettered four years in basketball ... Averaged 14.0 points and 12.0 rebounds as senior, being named first-team all-league and invited to compete in senior all-state game ... State all-tourney pick as junior, being leading rebounder on team that finished third at state ... Second-team all-league as sophomore on squad that placed seventh at state ... Honorable mention all-league as freshman ... Also earned one letter in track as freshman, being a sprinter and triple jumper,and another in tennis as senior ... Played on Columbia Juniors Volleyball Club U-18 as sophomore and junior ...Made it to 2013 USA Volleyball Girl's Junior National Championships.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in elementary education ... Her mother, Desiree, coached volleyball at Manson High School ... Her father, Frank, coaches women's basketball at Chelan High School ... Her father played basketball at Wenatchee Valley CC and her mother played basketball at Central Washington.
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Phelps earns First Team honor, while Brette Boesel and Joellee Buckner named Honorable Mention
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Three Vikings Named AVCA All-West Region
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WWU ends regular season with 3-0 sweep over Central Washington on Senior Night