Three high school seniors, all league MVPs, sign with Vikings
Nov. 27, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Three high school seniors, all of whom earned league Player of the Year honors, have signed national letters of intent to play volleyball at Western Washington University beginning in the fall of 2013.
The trio includes opposite-side hitter Joellee Buckner from Colville, outside hitter Haleigh Harrison from Sequim and setter Kristina Tribley from Wenatchee.
"We are really excited for our 2013 class," said WWU coach Diane Flick (13th year, 273-73). "It's not just about their physical abilities to play the game, but the passion and excitement they play it with. They are athletic, dynamic, great teammates as well as great students, which is exactly what we look for in Viking student-athletes."
Buckner helped Colville High School to a 101-5 record during her three-year career. The Indians were unbeaten in league play each of those seasons.
As a senior, Buckner played on a 31-3 team that placed fourth at the Class 2A state tournament, losing in the semifinals to No.1-ranked Tumwater. She was the Great Northern League co-MVP, averaging 3.9 kills per set.
"Joellee is a good ball control opposite with a live, fast arm," Flick said. "What I like best about her is the way she interacts with her teammates. She is very positive and works to make those around her better."
Buckner was co-MVP at the state tournament and Northeast League MVP as a junior on a 34-1 squad that won the Class 1A state championship.
As a sophomore, Buckner played on a team that placed fifth at state.
Harrison was the Olympic League Most Valuable Player as a senior at Sequim High School. She led the Wolves to a 20-3 record, league and West Central District III titles, and a trip to the Class 2A state tourney.
Also a first-team all-league choice as a sophomore and junior, Harrison earned all-league honors in basketball and set school track records in the high jump and triple jump.
"Haleigh is a high-flying, hard-hitting athlete, and the emphasis is on the athlete," said Flick. "She converted from the middle to the outside and brought with her an ability to handle the ball and terminate at the pins."
Tribley was the Big 9 Player of the Year as a senior at Wenatchee High School, helping the Panthers to a 19-5 record, league and district titles, and the Class 4A state tournament.
"Kristina grew up breathing volleyball with parents as coaches and a family that loves the sport," said Flick. "She is a true old-school gym rat and thrives on competition. Kristina embodies all the traits we look for in a setter!"
A WIAA Athlete of the Week and team captain and inspirational award winner, Tribley set school records for assists in a match (37) and season (283).
Tribley was an opposite-side hitter on teams that reached state as a sophomore and junior, receiving all-league honorable mention and second-team recognition, respectively.
"I'm excited to get all of them in the gym and continue building on the Viking volleyball tradition," Flick said.
WWU, 23-3, is competing in the NCAA Division II West Regional this week after winning the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title.
JOELLEE BUCKNER, Opposite-side hitter, 5-10, 17, 12/5/94, Freshman, Colville, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: Helped Colville High School to a 101-5 record during her three-year career ... The Indians were unbeaten in league play each of those seasons ... Great Northern League co-MVP as senior, averaging 3.9 kills per set ...Led team to 31-3 record and fourth-place at Class 2A state tournament, losing in semifinals to No.1 Tumwater ... Co-MVP of state tournament and Northeast League MVP as junior on 34-1 team that won Class 1A state title ... As sophomore, first-team all-league pick on team that placed fifth at state ... Three-year letter winner ... Also earned two letters in softball, two in equestrian and one in track.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in psychology ... Her mother, Carrie, played volleyball at Whitworth.
HALEIGH HARRISON, Outside Hitter, 5-10, 18, 9/19/94, Freshman, Sequim, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: Olympic League Most Valuable Player as senior at Sequim High School ... Led Wolves to 20-3 record, league and West Central District III titles and trip to Class 2A state tournament ... Team captain ... Offensive Award winner for third straight year ... First-team all-league as sophomore and junior ... Member of team that got to state as sophomore ...Four-year letter winner ... Also earned three letters in basketball, being first-team all-league choice, and twice in track, setting school records in high jump (5-5) and triple jump (34-10).
PERSONAL: Plans to major in biology/chemistry ... Member of Northwest Juniors Volleyball Club.
KRISTINA TRIBLEY, Setter, 5-9, 17, 3/9/95, Freshman, Wenatchee, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: Big 9 Player of the Year as senior at Wenatchee High School ... Helped Panthers to 19-5 record, league and district titles, and Class 4A state tournament ... WIAA Athlete of the Week ... Team captain and inspirational award winner ... Set school records for assists in match (37) and season (283) ... Earned second-team all-league honors as junior as opposite-side hitter on squad that reached state ... Honorable mention all-league as sophomore on team that played at state ... Three-year letter winner ... Also earned one letter in track ... Played for North Central Washington Volleyball Club.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in biology ... Her mother, Jennifer, played tennis at University of Idaho, and her sister, Katie, played volleyball (setter) there.
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