Team to play Poston Butte Sept. 7 in first home game of the season; game starts at 6 p.m.
The Queen Creek High School girls volleyball team is ready more than ever to make a run to the state championship and will look to the leadership of its five seniors to lead the way. The team lost just one senior from last year’s roster and with five this year and four juniors, the team is upperclassmen heavy.
The Dogs also have a record five players who’ve committed to Division I schools. Seniors Kennadee Coplen (Lamar University), Claudia Wilson (Sacramento State University) and Serena Caspersen (Montana State University), junior Kate Grimmer (BYU) and sophomore Jaelyn Hodge (University of Arizona) have all made verbal commitments.
Head coach Erica Crismon, who coached at Queen Creek for four years from 2012-15, took a short hiatus to coach as an assistant at Arizona State University, but is back at Queen Creek.
She is joined by assistant coach Stefany Pew, who stepped in for Crismon the last two years as the head coach.
“It’s so fun to be back at Queen Creek coaching and I’m looking forward to just having a really talented, competitive team,” said Crismon.
The Dogs had a record of 30-13 last year and took home top finishes in multiple tournaments. While finishing tied for second in the San Tan Region, the team entered the state championship as the No. 11 seed and lost to Notre Dame Prep.
The team had its chance at redeeming that loss in its first game of the season at Notre Dame Prep on Aug. 29 and hopes to make it one step closer to its team goal with a team win.
“We have a big goal — to win the state championship,” said Crismon. “We have a lot of work to do to get there, but we’re determined and focused on our goal.”
The Dogs have great height advantage and return three of their four top-hitting players from last season. Hodge led the team with 320 kills, while Grimmer had 259 and Wilson had 199.
Wilson also added a team-high by almost triple in blocks with 107 total.
“We’ve got big hitters and blockers and we are really strong offensively,” said Crismon. “We (just) need to fine tune our passing and serving.”
The team is also returning senior setter Coplen, who had almost 1,000 assists last year as a junior. The girls kicked off their season last week with a scrimmage against Campo Verde and then played the QC alumni to get into the flow of matches before their first official week of competition.
After playing at Notre Dame Prep on Tuesday, the Dogs had two more away matches before returning Sept. 7 at home against Poston Butte.
Editor’s note: Jamie Morris is the staff news writer for Queen Creek High School.