With 11 players in the program, Salmon River won’t have a JV this fall, but, with a stable of players who played in the state title match last fall, will have one of the 1AD2 classifications most experienced varsity group.
Standout Chevelle Shepherd graduated, and that change will rebalance coach Paula Tucker’s rotation. “I think we’re going to be a lot more versatile this year, and we’re not going to be specializing as much as we had to in the past,” Tucker told the Free Press Aug. 19. “The ones we have back from last year can play outside, middle, wherever we need them.”
Lotus Harper fits at outside hitter and Sofie Branstetter, Emily Diaz and Jordyn Pottenger have “all been doing well in the middle,” Tucker said. “Lexi Pottenger, too. She’s not tall, but she can jump and she’s doing well in the middle, too.”
Though she remains the shortest on the team, Alethea Chapman will give Salmon River’s back row defense a big boost, having played libero last fall and having shown more quickness and better understanding of the game in practice.
Tucker said that with sophomore Avery Jones and freshman Clara Jentz – who Tucker lists at 6-2 – this is the tallest team she’s had at SRHS.
Look for Branstetter and Harper to deliver most of the setting once again – but also for the Savages’ attack to involve more players more heavily than last fall.
League and state champion Horseshoe Bend figures to be tough once again.
Salmon River’s regular season starts Sept. 5 against Cascade.