By Brad Mosher
Jenna Archibald has some good news and some bad news.
The Neah-Kah-Nie volleyball coach has about two dozen students out for volleyball this year.
The bad news?
She has just two games to figure out her starters before the Lady Pirates open their Northwest League season Sept. 4 against City Christian at home. The Pirates got their first taste of non-league competition Tuesday evening when they hosted 1A Jewell.
The Pirates will go on the road Thursday to play Riverdale at 6:30 p.m. She has six returnees coming back.
The players have also been going to the weight room over the summer and taking advantage of the open gyms, the coach said. That core of players is Avery Smith, Brianna and Alex Woodward, Mara Soans and Dixie Esplin, according to the coach.
“They are all seniors,” Archibald added.
The coach is hoping that the team is able to keep up its tradition of having a tough defense.
“I think that will continue to be a strength for us. We are hoping to emphasize more of our offense – our hitters and our attacks, more so than we have been able to do in the past.
“But our defense is probably our biggest strength,” the coach added.
The Northwest League is always tough, the coach said. “There are some schools that have girls that play year-round, but I think we are going to contend for a playoff spot.”
Neah-Kah-Nie will still be hosting its invitational tournament in September, Archibald said.
The tournament, which will be held Sept. 8, will include teams from Clatskanie, Toledo, Waldport and Santiam.
“We are trying to get ready for that,” she said.
“For the first couple of weeks we are going to be moving people around, so we can utilize their strengths,
One thing Archibald is glad to have some heighth to create a defensive wall – with two players 5-foot, 11-inches tall and getting taller.